October 23, 2014

Seafood Gumbo

Recipe: Eric Vellend

Gumbo demands a firm, white-flesh ocean fish. Monkfish works particularly well as it can handle a little overcooking. If you are able to find wild white shrimp, they’re worth the extra money.



  •  8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lb. (31 to 40 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined, shells reserved
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1⁄2 lb. fresh or frozen okra, cut into 1⁄2″ pieces
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless fish filets, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
  • Chopped basil and plain white rice (for serving)


Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  1. Place stock and shrimp shells in a medium pot over high heat. When it starts to boil, reduce heat to maintain simmer. Cook 20 minutes. Pass through sieve, discarding shells. Add enough water to stock to make 8 cups. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over high heat. Add onion, celery and peppers. Cook, stirring,
 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until browned, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic and thyme. Cook 2 minutes. Add spices. Cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, bay leaves and stock. Raise heat to high. Skim and discard fat as it rises. When it comes to a boil, reduce to simmer. Cook 30 minutes. Season with salt. Add okra, fish and shrimp. Cook until just done,
 5 minutes. Stir cornstarch mixture into soup.
  3. Serve in warmed bowls with basil and rice.

Angus Fergusson


House & Home February 2013