All of you, my cyber buddies, have indulged my melancholia while I was overseas, missing my Jillian, my search for a new home, and my post-holiday blues.

For this, I thank you. Not only that, I will reward your stamina with another of MawMaw’s recipes. (Hey, you deserve it!)

When Jillian came to the bayou, it was high time for a real treat, a real indulgence. What better way to warm the belly and the spirit with a pot of seafood gumbo? It’s not crab or shrimp season yet, but thanks to the convenience of modern machinery, I found frozen Louisiana blue crabs and shrimp in the local grocery store. Fancy that!

Jillian brought all of her cookware to the house, and we cooked up a storm – both literally and figuratively.  We enjoyed our first supper in our new home on a rainy evening with a fire burning in the wood stove. (I know, that’s a lot of prepositional phrases….) So here, Gentle Readers, is MawMaw’s seafood gumbo recipe.

Seafood Gumbo

MawMaw’s Seafood Gumbo

Yield: 6-8 servings


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 chopped onion
2 stalks chopped green onions
2 stalks chopped celery
1 chopped bell pepper
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
1 5-oz can tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound chopped okra
2 quarts vegetable stock (or water)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon gumbo file or sage
3 cleaned blue crabs
1 pound cleaned crawfish tails
1 pound cleaned shrimp
1 pound andouille (optional)

In a large pot, make a light brown roux with the oil and flour. (Click here for the recipe.)

Over a medium heat, saute the onions, green onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic until the onions are transparent – about 5 minutes.

Seafood Gumbo (2)

Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, stirring often to keep the tomatoes from sticking to the pot.

Seafood Gumbo (3)

Add the okra and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring as needed. This is what MawMaw called “cooking it down” in order to take the slime out of the okra. If you like a crunchier okra, you can add it later, but your gumbo will have a somewhat slimy texture.

Add the broth and seasonings. Simmer covered on medium for about 30 minutes.

Seafood Gumbo (4)

Add the crab. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Seafood Gumbo (5)

Add the crawfish, shrimp, and andouille. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Seafood Gumbo (6)

Serve over rice. Miam! (That’s French for “yum!”)

Seafood Gumbo

Don’t have access to seafood? Try Eddie’s Chicken and Andouille Gumbo (Norm’s favorite).

By all means – Enjoy!