Yield: Yields about 3 quarts.
Servings: six to eight.
If you can, buy fresh shrimp with the shells and heads intact. If not, just the shells can be used to make the stock.
Make Ahead Tips
Store gumbo in the refrigerator for up to three days and then reheat gently before serving. As with many stews and braises, gumbo tastes better the second day. You can also freeze it for up to eight months. Simply transfer to freezer-safe containers.
Gumbo crabs are small blue crabs that have been cleaned and halved or quartered. They are served in the shell, and you pick out the meat as you eat the gumbo. They’re available frozen, usually in 1-pound packages. Ask your fishmonger to get you some if you can’t find them in your grocery. Fresh or pasteurized lump crabmeat is a reasonable alternative. Do not use shredded or imitation crabmeat.
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This was fairly simple and straightforward. I didn't think the roux was quite as rich as what I ate in New Orleans. I simmered the shrimp shells in clam juice for extra flavourful. I'm going to try a butter based roux recipe next time.
saw Poppy on Bobby Flay's "Throwdown". There are several things she did on that show that aren't written in this recipe. For instance, on TV, she puts 2 cloves of garlic in with the shrimp stock (not even in recipe). She also uses 2 bay leaves and appeared to put more tomatoes in than the recipe. A tablespoon of thyme is overkill - half that (or none) won't be so overpowering. 2 tsp of salt is one too much (you can always add). The roux must be almost burned and the onions chopped super fine (until juicy) to duplicate her "chocolate/caramel" technique. Compared to the wonderful gumbo I had in Alabama, Poppy's also seems a bit too thick (3/4 of her roux would be better). Raw blue gumbo crabs really take this dish to another level...don't think using alaskan king crab or whatever (or only shrimp) is going to impress anyone who's eaten authentic gulf coast gumbo.
I have made this several times and it is always a winner. Just make sure you get the roux nice and dark and you won't go wrong with this one.
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