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REAL CAJUN GUMBO 
1 onion chopped
1 green bell pepper seeds removed and chopped
1 cup of chopped celery

Prepare the trinity first (above ingredients) and set aside. Prepare preferred meat sausage, chicken, etc, or if choosing seafood, shrimp, oysters, crab meat, crawfish, etc. Prepare and set aside.

1 cup cooking oil or shortening
1 cup flour
2 quarts warm water
2 teaspoons Tabasco brand pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Zatarain's Creole seasoning or Tony Chachere's
2 cups okra, cleaned and sliced
3 to 4 cups rice

An authentic gumbo is prepared with a dark Re-aux, as are most all Cajun dishes. In a 6 or 8 quart stew pot (black iron is preferred but whatever you have will suffice) mix 1 cup of oil and 1 cup of flour. Place over medium heat and stir continuously.

NOTE: If you stop stirring it will stick and you will have to start over. Be sure to go over the entire bottom of the pot while stirring. The flour will begin to change color from white, to tan, to orange, to red, to light brown, to dark brown, then finally to black.

For this recipe, medium to dark brown is what is needed. This takes 10 to 15 minutes.

At this point, dump in the onion, celery and bell pepper and cook till the onion starts to clear. Add the meat at this time, but not your seafood.

Cook until meat starts to brown, then stir in warm water and seasonings. You are looking for a thicker-than-soup consistency but not as thick as stew. Add more or less water to achieve this. Bring to a simmering boil.

Add the okra and seafood of your choice. Cook for one hour.

Prepare rice and serve over rice in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste and the Cajuns would add a little dash of File' (Ground sassafras) or you can use thyme, finely ground (but not as good).

For a Creole Gumbo add tomatoes.

Submitted by: A Real Cajun
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