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Author Notes: I found this recipe in Michele Evans' cookbook in 1986 and have used it for beach parties and open houses, family reunions and weekend house parties. It does serve an army, but so worth it. I have changed around the seafoods I use and added carrots and seafood stock instead of water for a richer, more intense flavor. This is not a thick gumbo. —Jann
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup plain flour
- 4 large white or yellow onions, diced
- 4 large green peppers, seeded and diced
- 10 stalks celery, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 28 oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 tablespoons Worchestershire
- 1 teaspoon Crystal Hot Sauce or Sriracha (careful with Sriracha)
- 2 bay leaves
- 9 quarts homemade seafood stock (store bought works also)
- 1 cup Italian parley chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 6 cups sliced frozen okra
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 pounds shelled and deveined shrimp
- 2 pounds crabmeat
- 2 pounds Halibut, cut into 1" pieces (optional)
- 2 pounds small scallops, muscle removed (optional)
- 4 tablespoons file powder
- I use my largest stock pot, 24 qt., add oil and flour, stirring frequently over low heat to make your roux. This will take about 30 minutes. Once you see a dark gravy-like consistency, you are there. This is your flavor component so take your time and do NOT walk away!
- Add onions, peppers, celery, garlic and carrots. Stir often for about 10 minutes until vegies are cooked through.
- Add remaining ingredients up to the seafood and file powder. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for approximately 40 minutes.
- Add seafood and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir, check your shrimp and halibut. Cover and allow the residual heat to continue to cook your seafood for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the file powder and let stand for 5 minutes. Check your seasonings. Serve with white rice and garlic bread, hot sauce on the side!
- NOTES: Store bought seafood stock can be extremely salty. I also have found frozen okra to work as well as fresh in this gumbo. I have used only the shrimp and crabmeat before, as in Evans' recipe, but I do add the halibut to that.