Seafood Gumbo New Orleans Style Roux (see recipe below) 1 pound okra, sliced 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening 3 tablespoons butter 1 onion, chopped 1/2 cup chopped celery 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined* 1 jar oysters (check for shells) 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 tablespoon chopped green bell pepper 1 can (10 1/2 ounces ) tomatoes 2 sprigs parsley, chopped 1 bay leaf (remove before serving) 2 teaspoons Cavender's Greek Seasoning** 2 quarts water or fish stock 1 bunch green onion, chopped 1/2 pound crabmeat or 1 dozen crabs*** Salt and pepper Hot cooked long-grain white rice Crackers 1 teaspoon File, optional**** Just across the state line in Texas, we make it a little different. Actually, you can add just about anything you like. I put LOTS of shrimp, sausage(pork or venison), crawfish and okra..including most of the above ingredients. When it's done, you serve it over a bed of rice. DELICIOUS! Here's a little history on GUMBO Gumbo has been called the greatest contribution of Louisiana kitchens to American cuisine. When the first French settlers came to Louisiana, they brought their love for bouillabaisse, a highly seasoned fish stew. Having none of the usual ingredients necessary to make a typical French bouillabaisse, they substituted local ingredients. After about a century, with the Spanish, Africans, and Natives of the region offering their contributions of food, the stew was no longer recognizable as bouillabaisse and became gumbo. What started out as second best became better than the original. The word gumbo is derived from African words for okra (guingombo, tchingombo, and kingombo), a pod-like vegetable introduced by African slaves and often used to thicken the stew. Gumbo is a classic Cajun one pot, communal stew that is especially important around Mardi Gras (the Mardi Gras season officially begins twelve days after Christmas, on January 6, and culminates on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent). There is only one rule that remains constant in making gumbo: First you make a roux. The roux, a flour and oil or butter mixture, which acts as a thickening agent, is the gumbo's base. There are no other hard-and-fast rules for the ingredients used in making gumbo - anything that flies, crawls, creeps, or lies still may end up in the gumbo pot. There are as many recipes for gumbo as there are cooks in Louisiana. The making of gumbo draws out the competitive streak in most Louisianans, and most cooks closely guard their recipes.