Mardi Gras Gumbo


  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, in the shell
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced poblano pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 pound okra, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 8 cups cooked white rice, warm
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin


Peel and devein shrimp, and reserve the shells. Refrigerate shrimp until ready to use.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a stockpot set over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic, 1 bay leaf and reserved shrimp shells. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shells turn dark pink and garlic is fragrant. Add 5 quarts of water and the fish sauce. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer and cook at least 30 minutes. As you chop the onion and celery, add any trimmings to the stock.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Cook the sausage in batches until well-browned on all sides. Remove to a plate. Add remaining vegetable oil to the Dutch oven, then stir in the flour a few tablespoons at a time. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a deep brown roux is formed, about 15 to 20 minutes. It should smell nutty and be the color of hot chocolate.
Stir in the onions, remaining garlic, peppers and celery, and cook until they begin to soften. Add okra and continue cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes. Stir in remaining bay leaves, Creole seasoning, paprika, pepper and thyme.
Strain 4 quarts of the shrimp broth into Dutch oven. Stir to combine, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot. Return the sausage to the gumbo and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. While the gumbo simmers, cook the rice.
Add salt and 3 tablespoons parsley to the gumbo. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Add the shrimp and cook 3 minutes more, then turn off the heat and cover until ready to serve.
Fold vinegar, crab and remaining parsley into the warm rice. Serve the gumbo topped with seasoned rice and garnished with scallions.

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