The first stop for New Orleans travelers in-the-know and for locals looking to put a good feed on is Mother’s Restaurant. The line for this fine eatery many times extends beyond their threshold allowing the aromas of crawfish etouffee and cornbread to waft out across the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas.
Here’s their incredible recipe for Seafood Gumbo.
4 – Lbs okra — fresh or frozen
6 – Cups onions – medium diced
2 – Cups rendered ham fat o oil
1 – Cup bell pepper — medium diced
1 – Cup celery — medium diced
1 – Tbsp tomato puree
2 – Tsp salt
1/4 – Tsp thyme
1 – Pinch cayenne
1/4 – Tsp white pepper
1/4 – Tsp black pepper
1/4 – Cup garlic — minced
1 – Ea bay leaf
4 – qts crab stock
1/2 – Cup brown roux
2 – Cups oyster and oyster water
2 – Lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 – Cups lump crabmeat
2 – Cups claw crabmeat
1 – Cup green onion chopped
In large roasting pan, mix together okra, 2 cups onion and 1/2 cup rendered ham fat. Place in 350 degree oven until the slime is cooked out of the okra, approximately 1 hour. Stir frequently to keep okra from sticking and burning. When slime is cooked out remove okra from oven and set aside.
In a large stock pot heat 1/2 cup ham fat on high heat and saute’ 2 cups onion, 2 cups bell pepper and 1 cup celery until caramelized, approximately 5 minutes. Add tomato puree simmer for about 5 minutes. Add salt, thyme, cayenne, white and black pepper and garlic. Cook until you smell the garlic, approximately 1 minute. Add cooked okra, add hot crab stock, bring to boil and reduce to a simmer, let simmer for about hour to an hour and a half. Whisk in cold roux and bring back to a simmer let simmer for a few minutes, add Oysters and shrimp cook until shrimp are tender add crab meat bring back to a simmer, remove and cool.
To accompany this jazz festival for your palette, put some Dr. John on the Victrola and kick back with a sweet tea.
Once you’ve had a long nap, you’ll want to check out the three volumes of Dr John Teaches New Orleans Piano. Who knows… maybe you’ll be able to land a gig playing in the French Quarter!
– The Stanton’s Jazz Guy