Seafood Gumbo (with Okra)

Last week, I was sick and having soup at least once a day, so I decided to make soup for the week. I had not had sea food in weeks, so this seafood gumbo seemed to be the answer to what I was craving. I am going to be honest – this recipe proved to be my first recipe with major hiccups in a while, so let’s see if it fulfilled my craving.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of sliced bacon
  • 1 1/2 cup of celery stalk
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp of dried thyme leaves
  • 1 lb large shrimp
  • 0.75 lb of Cod
  • 0.5 lb lobster imitation
  • 1 10 oz. frozen chopped okra

The recipe proved to be so difficult – especially because I decided that reading the directions was not a priority at 8 am in the morning on a Sunday. Man, this is exactly like the first time I attempted to crockpot.

Let’s start with the grocery shopping: who knows what okra is? Not me! So that proved to be an issue before even going to the store. The other issue was that I don’t like crab, and the original recipe called for crab, so at the suggestion of a friend I bought cod. While I was looking through the fish section, I saw imitation lobster and I have never had it before, so I thought why not throw that into the mix considering I don’t have enough cod to replace the whole pound of crab.

Now onto the cooking: The first ingredient I read was the 1/2 lb of bacon. I only eat turkey bacon, so I chopped up the bacon and put into the crockpot. I thought it was a little bit weird that the ingredients did not call for cooked bacon, but I was trying to not over think it. (I should have known that all I needed to do, was look down at instructions to find the answer to that question – yes I was suppose to pre-cook the bacon till it was crispy. But as my boss told me, the crockpot hit 165 degrees, so the bacon was cooked even though it was just not crispy. Don’t worry about it.)

Next, I put in the rest of the ingredients in. My confusion came when it said to slice the onion, chop the green pepper, and mince the garlic. I have written about the definition of mincing and how I have had trouble in the past in deciding what all of these terms mean. So this time I decided I was going to put my questions to rest and look up the definitions.

Sliced – “A flat, usually thin, piece of food cut from a larger piece. Also the process of cutting flat, thin pieces” (http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/glossary-of-cooking-terms/)

Chopped – “To cut foods with a knife, cleaver, or food processor into smaller pieces.” (http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/glossary-of-cooking-terms/)

Minced – “To chop food into very fine pieces, as with minced garlic.” (http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/glossary-of-cooking-terms/)

Now, knowing that, I was able to sliced my onion, chop my green pepper and mince my garlic successfully. Then came the spices. The only one of these that I got right was the amount of Worcestershire sauce – 2 tablespoons. Then my dyslexia really got the best of me, and every time I read teaspoon I somehow managed to fill up the tablespoon. So I added WAY more salt and thyme than the recipe wanted…my bad.

When it came to the cooking part, I apparently gave it way too much time in my head and put all of the ingredients in at once. The gumbo only needed 4 hrs to cook and then I was suppose to add the meats. Instead, I put everything in at once (again, this is because I decided that only the cool kids read the directions – so obviously that did not include me on a Sunday morning before work).

To compromise for the 4 hrs of cooking everything else and the 1 hr with meat, I decided to cook the whole thing for 5 hrs. However, I returned home to put the gumbo on warm after 5.5 hrs and then it went straight in the fridge (my day got away from me again – I am going to thank my boss for getting me super distracted).

Review:

My roommate had it first, and as she said, “It’s different. I’ve never had anything like it. It’s not bad, just different.” My opinion, a bit salty but good. Different than a jambalaya (that has sausage as well as the seafood). Next time, I would put less salt in and make the bacon crispy. This was a good attempt, but I don’t know if okra is really my jam so for that reason alone I don’t think I would make the dish again.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $30.00
  • Total time: 30 minutes of prep, 5.5 hrs of cook time – 6 hrs total
  • Serving Size: 12 – 15 bowls with rice
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