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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Who’da thunk it!?  Mardi Gras is already upon us, and as the Cajun expression goes, “Laissez les bons temps rouler” aka “Let the good times roll!” New Orleans is unlike any city in America. Cajun, Creole, French, Spanish and so many other heritages all mixing and mashing to make that NoLa magic. Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture — even the local superstitions. The music is jazzy & joyous and food is flavorful & spicy!

If you didn’t manage to make it to New Orleans this year, you can still channel the spirit of this raucous holiday with this piquant Mardi Gras Recipe: Spicy Seafood Gumbo!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Small Axe Ghost Peppers Hot Sauce 
  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
  • 3 pounds medium-size raw shrimp (with heads)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 2 pounds frozen sliced okra, thawed*
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, liquid reserved
  • 1 pt. oysters (between 2 dozen and 3 dozen)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Hot cooked long-grain rice

Instructions

Step 1

Pick crabmeat, removing any bits of shell.

Step 2

Remove shrimp shells and heads. Cover and refrigerate shrimp, and place shells and heads in a large stockpot. Add 8 cups water and a generous pinch of salt, and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 1 hour. Cool 30 minutes; pour stock through a fine wire-mesh strainer, and reserve for use in Step Discard shells and heads.

Step 3

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and add okra. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, and sauté 10 minutes. Set aside okra, and wipe out skillet. Heat another tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté andouille about 8 minutes or until brown. Set aside.

Step 4

Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes or until roux is a medium-to-dark brown. Add yellow onions, celery, and bell pepper, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and 1/2 cup green onions, and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in tomato paste and next 7 ingredients. Stir in tomatoes and 1/3 cup of their liquid; gradually stir in shrimp stock. Add reserved sausage and okra. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.

Step 5

Stir in shrimp and remaining green onions, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in crabmeat, oysters, and parsley, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Taste and add salt, if desired. Serve over rice.

Step 6

* Fresh okra may be substituted for frozen.

Small Axe Ghost Peppers Hot Sauce  is by far the spiciest hot sauce we have ever made! Still, that doesn’t mean we skimped on delicious flavor. The freshly ground chipotle powder in this hot sauce adds a smokiness which makes it a perfect addition well in any chile, pozole, gumbo, or any other slow cooked meal that needs a little extra spice!

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