°1 ea. plain flour
°1 ea. oil
°2 bay leaves
°1 C. gumbo file
°1 small chopped onion
°1 small bell pepper, chopped
°2 celery stalks chopped
°2 tablespoons minced garlic
°2 to 3 liters of water or seafood broth
°1 1/2 lbs jumbo shrimp
°1 pint of FRESH oysters
°2 lb crab (optional)
°salt/pepper to taste
Making a roux takes time and patience, it is singularly the most important step in making a good okra.
Equal parts oil and flour (1 cup each) in a nice heavy saucepan…..cook over medium heat.
Stir, stir, stir and stir again. Don’t rush, don’t walk away from the pot too long because you don’t want to burn it. Pull up a bar stool, pour yourself a glass of wine, have a cold beer or maybe mix a drink, but make yourself comfortable, take your time and stir until the roux is a chocolate color dark which will take 25 to 40 minutes.
Once you have reached the desired color, add the chopped vegetables and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook another 3 to 5 minutes then add the liquid (2-3 liters of water or broth)
Add spices to taste, two bay leaves, a teaspoon of okra and a capful of liquid crab porridge, or about a fourth teaspoon.
Cover and simmer over medium/low heat for 20 minutes.
Add the crab, cover and cook for another 30 minutes.
Add the oysters and prawns, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.