If there’s one dish that signifies Louisiana cooking it’s (arguably) gumbo. People in this Southern state take their gumbo seriously and while we aren’t going to enter the never-ending dispute over who makes the best (hint: it’s every Louisiana native’s grandma), we can tell you who makes a damn fine pot of gumbo, and that’s New Orleans icon Emeril Lagasse.
The celebrity chef and NOLA legend was kind enough to share his recipe for the classic seafood gumbo he serves up at his flagship restaurant, Emeril’s.
This hearty stew is chock-full of shrimp, fish and oysters swimming in a broth richly flavored with gumbo crabs. Just be sure you’re not aching to leave the house right after you eat, because this seafood gumbo is as hearty as it gets.
*Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
- 3/4 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
- 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
- 6 cups shrimp stock
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 pound gumbo crabs (about 2)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound white fish fillets, such as catfish, grouper, snapper, or sole
- 1 tablespoon Emeril's Original Essence
- 2 cups shucked oysters with their liquor
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped tender green onion tops
- For serving white rice
- 1 Place an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, and add the oil. Allow the oil to heat for about 5 minutes, then add the flour to the pot. Stir the oil and flour together with a wooden spoon to form a roux. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to stir the roux for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the color of milk chocolate. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery to the roux and stir to blend. Stir the vegetables for 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds before adding the beer and shrimp stock to the pot. Season the gumbo with the thyme, bay leaves, gumbo crabs, Worcestershire, salt and cayenne. Bring the gumbo to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer the gumbo for 1 hour, skimming the foam and any oil that rises to the surface.
- 2 Season both the shrimp and the catfish with 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence. Stir the shrimp and fish into the gumbo and cook for 2 minutes. Add the oysters to the pot and cook, stirring often, for an additional 5 minutes. Taste the gumbo and season if necessary.
- 3 Garnish with the parsley and green onions and serve in shallow bowls over white rice.