Monday, June 18, 2012


1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup flour
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can Rotel brand stewed tomatoes
1 can creamed corn
2-4 cans chicken broth
1 lb crab meat
(or 1/2 lb. crab, 1/2 lb shrimp)
1 Teaspoon liquid crab boil*
salt, pepper, & creole seasonings 

The secret to all gumbo is in the roux.  A roux should be made slowly and evenly.  Different gumbos call for different degrees of dark.  This particular gumbo wants a deep, dark brown, close to mahogany.  So begin by making a dark brown roux using the oil and flour in a large cast iron skillet over low to moderate heat, stirring constantly, making sure not to burn the roux (or yourself).  If you should accidentally burn your roux, start over again.  It can take as long as 30 minutes to get a good roux.  Be patient and don’t rush it.  And be careful while stirring the roux:  it's called Cajun Napalm because it sticks and burns.  When the roux is dark enough (as dark as brackish swamp water), add the Holy Trinity and cook over a medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.  In a large soup pot, heat corn, tomatoes, and chicken broth.  When roux and vegetables are ready, add to the soup.  Simmer for about an hour and then add crab meat and crab boil.  Taste for salt, and add your seasonings.  Serve with cornbread instead of rice. 

*Liquid crab boil is more widely available nowadays, but if you can’t find any, just adjust your seasoning by adding a couple of bay leaves, some cajun spices and some Tabasco.

 This is a Redbone gumbo.  Redbones are from the bayou country out in western Louisiana.  We’re as likely to eat cornbread as rice, and with this particular gumbo, it’s preferred.  This recipe was a gift to me from my cousin of blessed memory, Regina Sue Miller Sibley.  Thinking I needed a name with more cachet, I renamed it Tchoupitoulas Corn and Crab Gumbo.  But for the purpose of giving it to my cousins, let’s go back to calling it Sue’s Corn and Crab Soup.