Chef Allison Richard's

Shrimp & Crab Okra & Tomato Gumbo


3 1.2-ounce pack dried shrimp, for shrimp dust

2 pounds fresh okra, sliced into ½-inch rounds

3 cups chopped, peeled and seeded ripe tomatoes, or 3 cups chopped canned         tomatoes, including their liquid

½ cup vegetable oil, separated

2 packs gumbo crabs

4 cups diced yellow onions

2 cups diced celery

2 cups diced poblano peppers

1 bunch green onions, sliced thin

1 bunch parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

2 15-ounce cans tomato paste

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme

3 pinches cayenne pepper

4 bay leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

3 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over

Steamed rice, for serving




Preheat oven to 300ºF.

To make shrimp dust, pulse dried shrimp in a blender and process until it turns into powder; set aside.

Coat the edges of a large ovenproof pot with vegetable oil. Add the okra and tomatoes plus 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the pot. Mix well. Cover the pot with an ovenproof lid. Place covered pot in the preheated oven and bake, stirring occasionally, for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the slime has disappeared. Remove lid and bake uncovered for the last 15 minutes of the cooking time, or until okra is tender.

Meanwhile, chop the remaining vegetables, divide in half, and set aside. Reserve any trimmings for the stock.

To make the stock, toast crabs in a 400ºF oven for 30 minutes, then place them in large stockpot with 3 gallons of water and any trimmings from the vegetable cuttings, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over moderately low heat for 25 minutes. Strain the stock into a very large, heatproof bowl.

In the stockpot, heat the remaining oil and the butter. Add half the chopped vegetables; cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the remaining vegetables, shrimp dust, tomato paste, garlic powder, minced garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring until fragrant, about 5 minutes.Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Add the okra and tomato blend to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook until just pink throughout, about 2 minutes. Remove bay leaves and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the crabmeat and serve with steamed rice.