Shrimp and Crab Gumbo
Since this dish is being served to 50 peope with an average age above 70 years old, it needs to stay on the mild side. Also, for budget reasons, I've replaced my usual crabmeat with savory chicken thighs.
2 lbs shrimp, shells reserved
3 4 C water
10 black peppercorns
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery
1 bay leaf
1 lb Andioulle sausage. sliced into coins
1.2 lb tasso or smoked ham,cut into small cubes
3 lbs chicken thighs
4 large cloves garlic,sliced
1 C onion, chopped
1 C green pepper, chopped
1 C celery, chopped
1 lb okra, trimmed and sliced
1 C crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 T cayenne pepper
2 T cornstarch
2 C rice, such as basmati, cooked
1. Shell shrimp, placing shells in a stock pot with water, approx 10 peppercorns, onion, celery and bayleaf. Add salt. Simmer 15-30 minutes. If reduced below 3.5 C, add more water. Reserve.
2. Brown sausage, creating crispy browned edges. If over browned slightly, this is good. Add ham and warm through, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Remove and set aside.
3. Brown chicken thighs until almost cooked through. When cool, chop into bit sized pieces or strips and set aside.
4. Saute onion, garlic, peppers and celery in olive oil, scraping bottom of pan, until wilted. Add okra and cook until it turns from pale to darker green, about 4 minutes.
5. Add tomatoses, bayleaf, reserved shrimp borth, cayenne and worchestershire to taste. Return meats to pan and bring to a boil.
6. Mix 2 T cornstarch and 1/4 C water. Add to pot.
7. Add shrimp and lemon slices and simmer until shrimp is cooked through.
Serve over rice with chopped scallions. Crusty, toasted bread is also a good accompaniament.