Sunday, January 30, 2011

Seafood Gumbo

Soups or otherwise warm and comforty {it's a word...stop giving me the red squiggly line Blogger} foods are all I've been wanting lately. It's not even terribly cold here in Arizona and it's certainly not snowing, but I still crave the warmth of a soup.

Before I forced myself to revise it to include a little more variety, my menu plan looked a little something like this:

Sat: Seafood Gumbo
Sun: Tortilla Soup
Mon: Corn Chowder
Tues: Beef Stew

You get the idea. Kind of ridiculous, right?! I edited my menu plan to only include two soups, but one of the ones that made the cut was Seafood Gumbo.

I recently watched an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay in which he made authentic "Nawlins" Seafood Gumbo. Not only did it make me want to get on a plane and fly to Nawlins, it also made me want to eat Gumbo RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.

Instead of RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, I had to settle for tomorrow since I had to give myself time to buy the needed groceries.

The recipe I used comes from a cookbook that I haven't used much in the past, but that I am suddenly LOVING now. It's called Peace Meals and it's a cookbook by the Junior League of Houston. I've made so many things from this book in the past few weeks! It has a lot of slightly more "fancy pants" recipes in it that are still very approachable for a non-chef like myself. {If you're interested, you can buy the cookbook from Amazon here.}

My quest to make authentic seafood gumbo was somewhat stunted by the fact that I could find neither seafood stock nor file powder in my grocery store. :(

The good news, though, is that it still turned out delicious (although much less authentic) with chicken stock and no file powder. :)

Seafood Gumbo
source: Peace Meals
serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cups (1.5 quarts) seafood stock (or chicken stock if you can't find it)
1/2 pound crab claw meat
1 pound shrimp, cooked and peeled
12 lightly sauteed oysters
gumbo file, for garnish
diced green onions for garnish

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Gradually whisk in the flour. Cook for 20 minutes or until the roux is the color of peanut butter, whisking constantly. Add the celery, onions and bell peppers. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender; the roux will cool slightly as the vegetables are added and darken as the vegetables release their natural sugars. Stir in the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste and cayenne. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the crab, shrimp and oysters and cook until heated through (a couple minutes). Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with file and green onions.


  1. Glad yall are settling in to Arizona. I'm still keeping up with your blog and loving it! I hope to someday have time for a food blog again. I mean, I sure I could find the time now, but what would I do without my beloved facebook time? A friend of mine from college has a cooking blog, as well, and she is ALWAYS posting recipes out of Peace Meals. Maybe I should go out and get a copy since yall both love it so much...


  2. Hi there, I'm Melissa and I saw you on military spouse bloggers! Come check my blog out at :)

    And omg that looks so yummy! I want to try this out :)

  3. Liz - It really is a great cookbook! I'm so glad I have it (and I don't say that about many cookbooks). I hope you do start food blogging again soon! I keep up with your family blog though too and it's very cute. :)

    Melissa- I will definitely check out your blog! Thanks for stopping by!


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