oil for frying
275g/10oz onions, chopped
225g/8oz green peppers, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
25g/1oz spicy sausage, sliced
25g/1oz smoked pork or bacon, cubed
1 tsp crushed garlic
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ tsp paprika
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
300ml/10fl oz puréed fresh tomatoes, strained
crab shells to flavour (optional)
450g/1lb large prawns (reserve the shells and heads for the stock)
1 dozen oysters
225g/8oz crab meat
6 freshwater crayfish
200g/8oz cooked rice to serve
For the fish stock:
fish heads, tails and trimmings
1 stick celery
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
prawn shells and heads
1. Place all the ingredients for the stock in a large saucepan and cover with about 1.7 litres/3 pints cold water. Simmer for as long as possible - 4 hours if you can manage it - and strain. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions, green peppers and celery and let them sweat for a few minutes. Add the spicy sausage and smoked pork.
3. Stir in the garlic, herbs, salt and spices.
4. Add the Tabasco sauce, puréed tomatoes and 1.1 litres/2 pints of the fish stock. Simmer for at least 45 minutes.
5. Add crab shells, if you have them, to give a little extra flavour and colour, the prawns, oysters, crab meat, crayfish and Simmer for another 10 minutes.
6. To serve as a main course, place a quarter of the rice in each bowl and top up with Gumbo.