1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound clams (other seafood such as white fish & squid can also be used)
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups diced red onion
1 cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup diced celery
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika (half will be used in step 2)
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 cup diced ripe tomato
1 pound Spicy Cajun Sausage (or andouille sausage), cut into 1-inch-thick slices
6 cups vegetable, fish or chicken broth
2 cups chopped okra (optional)
1 teaspoon filé powder
1 cup steamed white
½ cup chopped scallions for garnish
Assemble all ingredients.
Marinate shrimp with 1/2 a teaspoon of the paprika, salt and pepper, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon garlic. Cover and refrigerate.
For the gumbo base, in a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
Sprinkle in flour and stir to combine. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring, until flour-vegetable mixture is well browned.
Add tomato paste, paprika, cayenne and remaining garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring well, then add diced tomato and sausage and cook for about 2 minutes.
Season mixture generously with salt and pepper.
Add broth & bay leaves, reduce heat to medium. Using a wooden spoon, scrape bottom of pot to dissolve any browned bits. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until gumbo base thickens slightly. Taste and adjust salt.
If desired, add okra and let cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and clams, and cook for 2 minutes. Then turn off heat. Stir in filé powder. Serve immediately, sprinkled with scallions, along with steamed rice or cornbread if desired.