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Mardi Gras may have come and gone, but there’s no reason you still can’t enjoy some Cajun delights straight from New Orleans. Cape Fear Community College student Chef Josh Shipman shows us a tasty traditional Gumbo, with some decadent desserts thrown in for good measure, in this week’s Cooking with Cape Fear.

Yield: 10 main dish servings


2 c. chopped onions
1 ½ c. chopped green bell peppers
1 c. chopped celery
¾ c. vegetable oil
¾ c. All-purpose flour
1 Tbs. minced garlic
5 ½ c. shrimp or seafood stock
1# Andouille sausage, cut into ½” pieces
1# medium shrimp
1 dozen medium oysters, undrained (about 9 oz.)
¾ # crabmeat (picked over)
2 ½ c. cooked rice
Seasoning Mix (recipe follows)

Method of Preparation:
1. Combine the onions, bell peppers, and celery in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix ingredients; mix well and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the flour, whisking constantly with a long handled metal whisk.
3. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown to black, about 2-4 minutes, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin.
4. Immediately add half the vegetables and stir well (switch to a spoon if necessary).
5. Continue stirring and cooking about 1 minute. Then add the remaining vegetables and cook and stir about 2 minutes.
6. Stir in the seasoning mix and continue cooking about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Add the garlic; stir well, then cook and stir about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
8. Meanwhile, place the stock in a 5 ½ quart saucepan or large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition.
9. Bring mixture to a boil. Add the andouille and return to a boil; continue boiling 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes more.
10. Add the shrimp, undrained oysters and crabmeat. Return to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
11. Remove from heat and skim any oil from the surface. Serve immediately.

Note: To serve as a main course, mound ¼ cup rice in the middle of each serving bowl. Spoon 1 cup gumbo over the top, making sure each person gets an assortment of the seafood and andouille. Serve half this amount in a cup as an appetizer.

Seasoning Mix:
2 whole bay leaves
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. dried oregano

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