Put into large pot or skillet:
1&1/2 cups chopped celery
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 lbs. cut okra
2 Tablespoons vinegar (helps get rid of slime)
Cook, stirring almost constantly, until all slime is gone. (Okra is slimy, and will foam up at first, just cook until most of this has cooked away; you'll be able to tell.)
Then add 1 small can tomato sauce and 1 can tomatoes, which have been chopped fine or put through blender.
Add all seasonings (seasonings can be adjusted greatly according to personal taste):
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. marjoram
1/4 t. thyme
1/4 t. rosemary
1/8 t. red pepper
114 t. paprika
¼ t. chili powder
3/4 t. Cajun seasoning optiona1
1/2 t. gumbo file' optiona1
2 t. Roux flour (or flour which has been
browned in skillet)
I T. worchestershire
Add 3 to 4 cups of broth. This can be canned broths, or broth which you have saved from previously cooking chicken and/or beef roast. (I like to use a mixture of chicken and beef broths; the beef broth adds a rich flavor.) Add more broth, or water, as needed.
If using cooked chicken or turkey, you may add it now. (About 1 lb., more or less, depending on whether other meats are being added later.)
Simmer for at least 30 minutes; an hour or more if time allows.
Add 1 lb. peeled, uncooked shrimp about 20-30 minutes before end of cooking time. Add 1 lb. frozen crabmeat, thawed, about 15 minutes before end of cooking time. If using frozen, cooked shrimp, add at this time also. May also add frozen crawfish tails at this time. Optional: add 1 pint oysters (drained) during last 10 minutes of cooking time. (If using canned shrimp or canned crabmeat, add during last 10 minutes along with oysters.)
Serve over rice with French bread or crackers.
Some people like sausage or ham in gumbo. I sometimes have used a small amount of sausage just for seasoning. I cook it first to get rid of most of the fat, then add it when adding seasonings.
Gumbo is also delicious without the seafood. Great during the holidays with leftover turkey!
When abstaining from meat (for Lenten season, etc.), use only vegetable broths or water, and omit all meats except seafoods.