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Seafood Okra Gumbo

Africa, North: African American

Seafood Okra Gumbo is my family's favorite dish and it is also one of America's popular dishes. This dish is made up of different ingredients which represents all the different kinds of customs around the world. This was passed down from generation to generation in my family. I remember my grandmother cooking this particular dish for dinner one afternoon before she passed away. That is why this dish is very important to me because it helps me remember how thankful she was. The day of my grandmother's funeral my mother decided to make Seafood Okra Gumbo just to show my grandmother that we still love her and she will always be in our heart.

Ingredients

6 servings:
6 hard shell crabs
2 lb okra, sliced
2 tbs flour
5 tsp oil
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 lb. shrimp (save peel)
8 cups water
1 cup ham, diced
1 can tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 dashes of tabasco
3 bayleavs
.1/2 tsp powedered thyme
.1/2 tsp basil
.

Preparation

Boil crabs for 20 minutes in lioghtly salted water. Remove, save water. Put 2 teaspoons of oil and 1 of butter in a non-cast iron skillet and fry Okra until all traces of sliminess disappears. In a deep pot, put remaining oil, stir in flour, make dark brown roux. Add onions, garlic, green peppers, and celery to roux, stir for 5 minutes. Add diced ham and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Stir in tomatoes, shrimp, and simmer. In 8 cups of crab water, boil the shrimpheads for 15 minutes. Add the Okra to the large pot, stir for a few minutes then strain the shrimp water to the mixture. Add the remaining seasonings and simmer slowly for 2 hours. Remove the back shell, belly flap, legs and claws from the crabs. Clean out all unwanted material from the crabs, break crabs in half and lightly crack the claws. Add crab halves & claws to the pot. Cook another 15 minutes, adding the green onions during the last 5. Serve over rice.

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