Creole Gumbo



Ingredients:

3 slices bacon, crumbled
4 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole bay leaves
2 Tbs. green bell pepper, minced
1 Tbs. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 lb. fresh or frozen okra, cut in 1/2-inch lengths
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large ham bone, halved or split
1/2 lb. chicken wings, tips removed
1 lb. boneless veal stew meat, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and cored
1/2 tsp. tabasco sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. filé powder
2 lb. fresh raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 lb. Ccab meat
2 cups fresh oysters
freshly cooked rice



Cut the bacon pieces in half and put in a large soup kettle. Place over low heat and cook bacon until brown, then remove, drain on paper towels, and set aside.

Add the onions to the bacon drippings in the kettle and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add garlic, bay leaves, green pepper, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper, and cook slowly until green pepper is wilted. Add cut okra to the kettle and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the ham bone, chicken wings, and veal cubes. Cook over medium heat, making sure to turn the meats so they brown on all sides. Pour off any excess fat ant add the meats and bones to the kettle.

Pour a cup of water into the skillet and deglaze. (Use a wooden spoon to loosen all the browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides.) Pour the water and bits from the skillet into the kettle.

Add the parsley, tomatoes, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, and lemon juice. Add just enough water to cover all ingredients. Bring the gumbo to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Stir in the filé powder, but do not boil the gumbo again. Simmer for about 30 minutes, then add shrimp, crab, oysters (with their liquid) and crumbled bacon. Continue to simmer until the seafood is cooked through.

To serve, spoon a mound of cooked rice into the middle of a soup plate, then ladle the gumbo around the rice.



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