2 Tbs. bacon fat,
1 lb. shrimp pieces 16 mussels without shells
8 oz clam strips.
Save and use clam juice.
1 lb. crab meat
3/4 lb. diced celery
1 large onion, finely minced
2-3 cloves garlic chopped fine
2 cups real tomatoes
1 16 oz. can of tomato paste
1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup sliced okra — a must
1/2 tsp. ea of salt, tsp. cayenne Pepper, oregano, thyme and a bay leaf or two. (spices can be increased according to taste)
Now some Gumboians add a cup of corn. Sometimes I do, sometimes not, I do experiment with shrimp, chicken, curry, red pepper, basil and garlic and until a Louisianian born corrects me I’m still Gumbo.
Cook onion in bacon fat until yellow and Louisiana flaccid and add all vegetable ingredients– the tomatoes, celery, pepper, okra and seasonings into a large stock pot for about 1 hr. Simmer till tender, add the corn and cook another 15 minutes. (add optional chicken shreds and more chili or curry). Keep simmering over low heat for a total of two hours. Shrimp and all seafood could now be added. Cook another half an hour. Serve over a bed of welcoming rice and this is a nice easy dish. Leftovers can be added to most anything.
Men who fish in strange wells often catch crabs. H.S.