Shrimp Gumbo has always been a favorite of my family for years. It is one of those dishes that you never tire of and when there is a lot of fresh shrimp from the bayou, fresh okra and tomatoes from the garden who can ask for more. The aroma of gumbo cooking is the best ever. Since living on the Gulf Coast I grew up on gumbo. My mother made it and I loved it so much I started making it. My children think I beat my mother's gumbo but this is always a birthday request. It takes a while but oh so worth it!
Peel shrimp, devein and set aside in cold water. Never leave peels on the shrimp. Chop onion, celery, and saute in butter until tender. This is going to be your roux. Don't let it burn but once it has browned sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour and stir just like you are making gravy. I use fresh tomatoes that I freeze and put the tomatoes in (you may need to add water). Add all the seasonings bay leaves, garlic powder, etc. I use the Gumbo File throughout the process of cooking gumbo. I usually start by adding a tablespoon of File to this. I let this cook until the frozen tomatoes are thawed and everything is blended well.
After I allow this to cook I add the cut sausage and more Gumbo File and let cook for a few minutes, then add the cut okra and shrimp. I add more Gumbo File. The Gumbo File will make it dark and I also add more salt and pepper. I do a lot of tasting and adjust the seasonings as I go. I let it cook until all the vegetables, shrimp and sausage are done. I give it a final taste. Take the bay leaves out and throw them away. Serve over hot rice with crackers on the side.
Some of the other seasonings used in the past are oregano which added a different flare to it. My uncle cooked it with lemon slices and Rotel tomatoes. I just stick with this recipe because I don't like the citrus flavor of the lemons. I also used the lesser measurements for this gumbo shown because it was just for my husband and I. I increase if my family visits. Also, if you add crab make sure you add it toward the end. Many people add chicken. Enjoy and have fun making this dish.