Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Adapted from Southern Living's Homestyle Cooking

2 pounds frozen okra

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 small onions, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

1 green bell pepper, finely diced

1 cup chopped green onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 6-oz can tomato paste

3 large bay leaves

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 ¾ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (Pilleteri’s, Cachere’s, or equivalent)

¼ teaspoon hot sauce

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

dash white pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)

7 cups water

1 pound spicy link sausage, cut into ½ inch lengths (Conecuh, Andouille, or equivalent)

2 ½ pounds medium fresh wild shrimp, peeled

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

4 cups hot cooked rice

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven. Add okra and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 35 minutes, stirring often. Remove okra from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot (there will still be some bits of okra in there), combine 2 tablespoons of oil and flour in the pot and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a roux whisk, until the mixture is fragrant and has darkened in color. Add onion and celery; cook 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, green onions, and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the next eleven ingredients (through water), and the reserved okra; stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and heat until the shrimp are cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Remove and discard the bay leaves, and stir in the parsley. Serve over hot rice.

*This Gumbo can be made up to two days ahead.  Prepare the gumbo up to adding the sausage.  Refrigerate.  To finish the gumbo, cook over medium heat until the gumbo is hot all the way through, stirring often.  Reduce the heat to medium low and add the shrimp.  Heat until the shrimp are cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Discard the bay leaves and stir in the parsley.

Belle of the Kitchen