Seafood Filé Gumbo

3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups onion -- chopped
2 cups celery -- chopped
2 cups mix of red and/or green bell peppers -- chopped
3 tablespoons Cajun's Choice Gumbo Filé
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes -- chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
5 cups seafood stock
2 tablespoons Cajun's Choice Blackened Seasoning
1 1/2 cups crabmeat (frozen or canned will work if fresh is not available)
1 pound medium shrimp -- peeled & deveined
1 dozen shucked oysters with liquor
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice

  Cajun's Choice Blackened Seasoning

In a large heavy bottom pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Saute onions, celery & bell peppers for 10 minutes. Add splash of white wine or vermouth to keep vegetables from burning to bottom of pan. Add Cajun's Choice Gumbo Filé, minced garlic and Cajun's Choice Blackened Seasoning. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add chopped tomatoes, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce and reduce heat. Stir frequently. Add the seafood stock and bring gumbo to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes.

If you're serving gumbo soon, then add seafood as follows. If not, let the gumbo cool and when ready to serve, bring back to boil and add shrimp, crabmeat and oysters. Cook only about 5 minutes and serve over rice. Add Cajun's Choice Creole Seasoning to taste if desired.

It's always good to prepare a gumbo base the day before serving so the base can cool and, when reheated the flavors of gumbo, soups and stews always taste better as they've had a chance to blend.

The amounts of seafood shown are just suggestions. I always like to add more seafood to my gumbo for an "extra hardy" version.

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