"Gumbo's good the first night, but it's always better the next day,” says New Orleans chef Melissa Martin.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
5 pounds fresh okra, trimmed and chopped
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large tomato, chopped
3 pounds yellow onions, cut into ¼-inch dice
4 stalks celery, diced
1 large bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced (about ¼ cup)
2 quarts chicken or seafood stock
5 pounds large (26”“30 per pound) wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 small blue crabs, cleaned
2 teaspoons cayenne or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot sauce, such as Original “Louisiana” Brand Hot Sauce*
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, green and white parts, sliced lengthwise then finely chopped
6 cups steamed white rice
*See “11 Must-Have Ingredients from Mosquito Supper Club Chef Melissa Martin’s Pantry”
1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over lowest heat, combine okra and 1 tablespoon oil. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until okra has completely lost its shape and is a dark, swampy-green color (the seeds will still be visible), 6 to 8 hours. Add tomato and cook for 30 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, combine onions and the remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add reserved okra-tomato mixture and stir to combine; cook for about 15 minutes more. Add celery, bell pepper, and garlic, and continue to cook until vegetables are soft, 30 to 45 minutes more. Add stock and simmer uncovered for 1½ hours. Meanwhile, place shrimp and crabs in two separate bowls and season with cayenne and salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
3. Add seasoned shrimp and crabs to stock mixture and bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low and allow gumbo to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir in parsley and scallions. Serve gumbo hot, ladled over steamed white rice.