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Day 7 –   Did I really just cook 7 different gumbos in 7 days?  Ask my husband, he just keeps eating and shaking his head!  We keep giving containers to friends and family… and the refrigerator and freezers are well stocked.  Let’s see: Hen, Sausage and Tasso Gumbo; Seafood Gumbo; Gumbo Z’Herbes; Chicken and Okra Gumbo; Quail, Pheasant and Andouille Gumbo; Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo; and tonight, the easiest of them all:  Shrimp and Okra Gumbo…

Lord, I am sounding like Bubba in Forest Gump!!!

Ingredients:

2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

2 medium onions, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

8 cups of fresh okra, sliced

2 small tomatoes, peeled and chopped

3 quarts of shrimp stock

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

4 drops of Louisiana Hot Sauce

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp white vinegar

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In a large heavy pot, heat oil and add okra, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, salt, pepper and vinegar

Cook over a medium heat for approximately 1 hour, until okra is well done and starts to darken, but does not completely break apart.  The smell of okra cooking, just warms my heart…brings me back to a wonderful warm place in my grandmother’s kitchen long ago!

Add shrimp stock and Louisiana Hot Sauce – bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer; Cook for another 45 minutes

Stir in shrimp and cook on a medium heat (don’t let it boil!) just until shrimp turn a light pinkish/orange in color, about 10 more minutes,

Turn off fire and let sit uncovered for at least 30 minutes – longer, if you can.

Taste and season, if necessary.

Serve with white rice and a simple potato salad…

This is one of those gumbos that you can easily make after a long day at work, especially if you have smothered okra already in your freezer!  Easy, easy, easy…and wonderful in the summer or winter.

During the past 7 days,  I have concentrated on the differences that exist with almost every cook and every pot of gumbo. The fact that everyone feels so strongly about their way of cooking gumbo is remarkable!  You know the unwritten rule about social gatherings: “Don’t talk religion or politics” – well in South Louisiana it is more like:  “Don’t talk religion, politics or gumbos!”

Hopefully, you will find one of these gumbos appealing or at least interesting – and with a cold front heading our way, get a big pot out and cook a gumbo this weekend for your family or friends!  I will be hoping that my husband grills a good steak for me…my gumbo pot needs to rest!

C’est tout, my friends, for now…

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