I wanted gumbo the other day, seafood gumbo, but I was really low on funds and couldn't see buying pounds of crabmeat, shrimp, oysters, etc. So I bought some filets of Swai in the freezer section (individually wrapped), 2 small cans of crabmeat (under $2.00 each) and a lb of frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined. Along with my love of andouille sausage in seafood gumbo (I know I am making enemies to you gumbo purists) I managed to stir up a great pot of gumbo for a fraction of the usual cost. Give it a try, it's very tasty!
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup plain flour
1 large onion -- diced
3 stalks celery -- sliced thin
½ cups green pepper -- diced
4 cloves or 1 tbs garlic -- minced
3 whole bay leaves
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs salt
1 tbs filé powder
4 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tabasco sauce
8 - 10 cups water
1 lbs. Shrimp -- frozen small, cleaned, de-veined
2 cans crab meat
4 8oz Swai (or catfish) filets
1 lb okra (frozen or fresh 1/2 in. slices)
*opt. 12 oz andouille sausage (sliced thin)
Place the catfish filets in a pot with 6 cups of water. Turn the heat on MED and let them poach until the are done and will crumble. Set aside and retain the broth.
In a 7 qt., cast iron Dutch Oven, or similar kettle, heat oil on MED, when hot, add flour and stir continuously until the roux reaches a dark brown color. Add diced onions and cook until onion is wilted, then add celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook another 10 mins. Add herbs and spices, (except filé powder) stir constantly, cook 5 mins.
Add 2 cups of the hot catfish broth, whisk in and blend well, cook for another 5 mins. Add remaining stock, 3 more cups of water, andouille sausage, crabmeat, crumbled catfish meat, and shrimp, then bring to a boil for 5 mins. Cook okra in a seperate skillet in 1/4 cup of oil for 20 mins. or until it softens and quits sliming, add it and the filé powder to gumbo. Bring back down to MED/LO and cook 1 hour or more, stirring occasionally. Finish up by checking seasonings. Just let it simmer another half hour on MED/LO.