The Gumbo Chronicles
Seafood freak ROWAN JACOBSEN packs his bib and heads south to cook up a locally sourced gumbo in the aftermath of the BP oil spill recovery efforts.
1/2 cup canola oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 leeks, coarsely chopped
8 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds shells from shrimp, blue crab, crawfish, or lobster
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
Heat oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Cook onions, celery, carrots, leeks, and garlic, stirring often, until soft but not brown, about three minutes. Add shells, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, and six quarts water. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and gently simmer until stock has reduced by half—roughly two hours. Skim off any foam. Strain through a fine sieve into a container, then cover. Allow stock to cool, then refrigerate. Skim off any fat before using.