Campaign workers for a nonpartisan politician (whatever that is) were working (not cooking) at a recent Gumbo Cookoff. I know this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but this is small town politics. Their efforts reminded me of the year my father tossed his hat in the ring for Sheriff of Jackson County, Mississippi. Our family traipsed around from Fish Fry to Fish Fry “politikin” for my father. He lost that election, but if he had been as creative as these campaign workers, he might have garnered more votes. They were giving away bookmarks with a family gumbo recipe on one side and the candidate’s credentials on the other. The woman who presented me with the recipe, assured me that it was her grandmother’s and it was delicious.
I think I’ll try making it this weekend. If you’re interested, here’s the recipe for Bite You Back Gumbo.
Ingredients: 1 pound crab claws, 1 pound crab claw meat, 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined), a couple dozen oysters in their liquor, the Trinity (one cup celery, one cup onions, 1 cup green pepper), 3 quarts of seafood stock (boxed will do in a pinch), Roux (below) and File powder.
Directions: Heat one cup of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add flour (no amount given, sorry) slowly and stir constantly until the mixture is brown in color. In a large pot, add a teaspoon of salt and a couple of dashes of hot sauce to the Trinity and cook with the roux until the vegetables are soft. Add the crab meat and seafood stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a half hour. Add shrimp, oysters with the liquor, and crab claws. Whole crabs cut in quarters are better than crab claws, but crab claws are easier to find. Cook around seven minutes. Add file powder to taste. Serve with warm French bread.
Good luck on figuring out that flour — I’m just going to keep adding until it looks right. But, since I haven’t tried this one yet, and you want one I guarantee, click on the “Recipes” tab on the top. I’ve cooked all of those.