¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 pounds alligator, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cups chopped yellow onion (3 or 4 small onions)
1 (Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 fresh jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
2 bay leaves
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juice
1 (10-ounce) can Original Ro-Tel tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cups beef or chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne or more to taste
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 bunch green onions, tops only
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
First, make a roux of the oil and flour cook until dark brown. If you do not wish to make your own roux you can buy a good one a Walmart, add onions and stir well. Add bell pepper, celery, garlic and jalapeno. Cook, stirring often, another 15 minutes.
When softened, add diced tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes. Add bay leaves, Ro-Tel, lemon juice, broth, salt, cayenne, thyme and Worcestershire. Cook for 1-1/2 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add cut-up alligator and simmer another hour, stirring occasionally. Add green onions, and parsley. Let sit for at least an hour before serving over hot cooked rice.
Your roux is a 2 to 1 mix; 2 cups of a good olive oil like Carapelli, do not use Light or Virgin, and then 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Heat the oil on medium temp, when hot add the flour, you want a dark brown but not burned mixture, this takes constant stirring. It might take as long as 45 min; good tasting food takes a lot of preparation. In Cajun kitchens there are so many ways to make a roux; this is just one of many.
Now if you do not have the time to make the roux, you can go to Wal-Mart a buy a large jar.
While we are making the roux, we are also making the stock:
-3 to 6 quarts of water, depending on how much you are making, this is what we are going to make our stock with. Place one or two chickens in for about 45 minutes, take out and cool, then de bone
-3 to 5 pounds of heads on shrimp, 9/12 count cook in the Chicken Broth for 2 minutes then take out and cool off with ice or cold water to stop from cooking
Then take off the heads and shells and place them in the chicken stock to cook for another 30 minutes.
You are cooking both broths; we are looking to get the entire flavor. Then strain the broth, (here is one more secret) take the heads and with a knife scrap all the meat and fat out of head and put back into the broth. This gives the broth a fatter, richer flavor. When the stock ready to add to the roux be very careful the roux is hot, I will usually add a couple of cups at a time until it cools down then pour the rest in.
We must use the holy trilogy, onions, bell peppers and celery. On the bell peppers I use green, orange, and yellow and purple, each has its own different taste. Now, as far as the sausage goes I like to add two to three different types, Andouille and Gator and Shrimp each has a distinctive taste.
(1) pound of each Andouille, Gator and Shrimp Sausage sliced use at least 2 pounds, any of your choosing
(2) 1 pound of Tsao
(3) 2 bags of okra unless you have put some up from the summer which would be the way to go (again I like a lot of okra, so play it by ear you might want to add another bag)
(4) 6 cups chopped onions or more
(5) 3 cups of chopped bell peppers, different colors
(6) 2 cups of chopped green onions
(7) 4 cups of finely chopped celery (this is something you can add more of if you wish) even the leaves
(8) Garlic I like garlic from Gilroy California, any would be fine, we need 1/2 to 1 cup, I like garlic so the more the merrier for me
(9) 2 cups for finely chopped parsley
(10) 1/2 cup of cilantro AND 6 bay leaves.
(11) 2 to 4 cups of a late season white wine
I did find a St. James (Velvet White) in Missouri that seems to work okay, you might get with your winery and see what late in the season sweet grape wine that they may have for cooking with. Sauterne was the choose of Chef Justin Wilson
(12) At this time, you can de vein your shrimp, I personal do not, I will cut the shrimp in half, because we are using 9/12 shrimp and they are large, I will always drop some of the shrimp in the gumbo whole pull of the whiskers, adds more flavor.
(13) 4 to 5 tbsp. of Lea & Perrins
(14) Cayenne pepper to taste, add some taste you do not want it to hot for children
-Salt, this is the old grandmother measuring method, again add to taste
(15) 1 large can of tomato sauce
Now we let simmer on the stove on low heat for 4 to 6 hours, and then place in refrigerator overnight. Sever the next day over a bed of rice. If you can find file powder ( Mamma Jean's on Sunshine if you live in Missouri) File add to the rice before you serve the gumbo over it. Be sure to keep stirring we do not want it to stick to bottom and burn.
KEY: after you have completed your gumbo let it set over night in the refrigerator before you serve it, that way it lets all the flavors marry
This has a Grand Ma Twist. And tell him Happy Birthday from Cajun Country.