Louisiana Seafood Gumbo
Note: This recipe is neither cheap, nor quick. Make sure you have the better part of a day to work on this.
1 whole tilapia, scaled and gutted (any flaky white fish will do if you prefer)
2 lb. shrimp, heads and shell on
2 lb. Louisiana crawfish tails
1 pint blue crab meat
1 pint oysters
2 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup all purpose flour (for the roux)
1 cup vegetable oil (for the roux)
Prepare the stock:
Shell and devein shrimp. Keep shells and heads. Cover shrimp and refrigerate. Put shells, heads and tilapia in large soup pot. Add half of the vegetables. Add enough water to barely cover ingredients. Add salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the tilapia is nothing but bone. You may have to add water occasionally. Strain liquid and discard shells and bones. Place stock on low heat.
Prepare the roux:
In a cast iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil to medium heat. Slowly whisk in all of the flour. Whisk continuously until the roux reaches the desired color. A good standard is the color of milk chocolate. If you like a darker roux, be careful not to burn it. When done, remove it from heat.
Bring the stock to a low boil. Add all seafood and remaining vegetables. Add black and cayenne pepper. Slowly add roux so it dissolves more easily. Be careful not to add roux while it is still hot or it will pop. When the shrimp are pink and firm, the gumbo is done.
Serve with white rice, French bread, and potato salad.