*** Fry okra in 2 tbs shortening until it ceases to "rope", about 30 to 45 minutes. In another saucepan, make a roux with remaining shortening and flour. Cook until dark brown. Add onions and celery, cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add okra. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and meat (or crabs) and simmer for 30 minutes or longer. Remove from heat. If desired, stir in filé just before serving (never cook filé).
NOTE: Gumbo is better if cooked early in the morning and refrigerated for several hours. Reheat and serve with cooked rice.
IF CRABSS ARE USED:
Scald live hard shelled crabs and clean, removing the spongy substance and the sandbag on the underpart. Break off and crack the claws, and cut the body in half.
Yield: 6 Servings
Gumbos, Soups, Chowders
Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana