Seafood Gumbo

I went to visit my sis-in-law, bro-in-law, and 2 nephews in Florida for the long New Year's was a wonderful time filled with lots of craziness with the boys (including a for real indoor food fight with marshmallows, lemons, grapefruits, hot dogs, etc) and lots of food & fun for all. Our New Year's Eve dinner was a wonderful seafood fest that I posted pics of last time. This time I'm going to give you the recipe for the awesome Seafood Gumbo that I created! I have never made gumbo before but eaten plenty, so I was a little worried that I got put in charge of creating the gumbo (silly Executive Chef bro-in-law was at work!) but it actually turned out to be awesome! So here goes...

Ingredients: (this filled a large stockpot - adjust ingredients accordingly)
1 lb black eyed peas (I used dried and soaked them, you could use canned as well)
1lb swordfish pieces
1lb Seafood Mix (you can buy it frozen at most stores, it has squid, octopus, scallops etc in it)
4 Medium Stalks celery chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 large green pepper chopped
oil (3ish tablespoons)
1 large can crushed tomatoes
Cayenne pepper to taste
white pepper to taste
sea salt to taste
Then either Veggie bullion or seafood stock

First make a rue by coating the pot in a layer of oil, heat and add 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk the flour into the hot oil, add some water (maybe 1/2 cup) and stir well. Add the celery, onion, and green pepper cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the black eyed peas. If using seafood stock add 2 cups now and then cover the contents of the pot with water, if using Veggie bullion (like I did) add 1.5 tablespoons bullion and then add water to cover the contents of the pot (around 6-8 cups). Bring to a boil. After water has been brought to a boil add swordfish and Seafood Mix. Season with some Cayenne Pepper and White Pepper (not to much yet unless you know you like it spicy). Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir well and bring the pot to a boil again. Once it has reached a rolling boil reduce heat to a good simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. After it has simmered for 30 minutes taste liquid and add any salt, and additional seasoning you need. Simmer for another 20 minutes. At this time check the consistency of your gumbo. If it is still very watery you will need to thicken it. To do so put some of the liquid (at least 1/2 cup) from the gumbo into a small bowl, whisk in cornstarch until it begins to thicken. Stir this mix back into your pot of gumbo and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Repeat this process until gumbo reaches desired consistency. Serve over rice.

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