Deconstructed Shrimp, Okra and Ham Gumbo
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 pound small okra, washed, caps and tips trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 cup chopped, peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes, or 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 cup chopped smoked ham
- 2 cups shrimp stock
- 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1 teaspoon file powder
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Chopped parsley, garnish
- Chopped green onions, garnish
In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Fry the okra, stirring constantly, until most of the slime disappears, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, bay leaf, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and the slime has disappeared, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the ham and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
In a shallow bowl, combine the Essence with the file powder. Dip the shrimp in the spice mixture to coat lightly on both sides.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in batches as necessary and cook, turning, until opaque and pink, and just cooked through and tender, 3 to 4 minutes.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.