Shrimp and Crab Gumbo
Serves 10 to 12 

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The name "gumbo" comes from the Bantu word for okra, a key ingredient in this Creole stew. Gumbo filé (powdered sassafras leaves) helps thicken the gumbo; it is available in supermarkets.


2 pounds medium shrimp 
8 ounces turkey sausage, casing removed 
2 medium onions, minced 
2 medium green bell peppers, cored and seeded, cut into 1/4-inch dice 
1 pound okra, cut widthwise into quarters 
2 jalapeño peppers, ribs and seeds removed, minced 
1/4 teaspoon gumbo filé 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme 
3/4 cup Dark Roux 
6 cups Shrimp Stock 
3/4 cup chopped canned peeled tomatoes 
6 blue crabs(6 to 8 ounces each), optional 
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
Dirty Rice

1. Shell and devein shrimp, leaving tail sections intact; reserve shells for stock. Break sausage into 1/2-inch pieces; in a skillet, cook over medium heat until all the fat has been rendered, about 8 minutes. Mix in onions, green peppers, okra, jalapeño, and filé. Cook until onions have softened, about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes more. Set aside. 

2. In a stockpot, melt dark roux over medium heat; heat shrimp stock in a medium saucepan over high heat. Gradually pour hot stock over roux, whisking to combine well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add reserved sausage-and-vegetable mixture and tomatoes. Stir gumbo well, and let cook for 1 hour. 

3. If using whole crabs, cut them in half lengthwise, and add to gumbo. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until opaque. Add crabmeat and parsley, and cook 2 to 4 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot over dirty rice. 

Photograph by: Todd Eberle 

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