Cookbook 2007: Katie Harkrider and Michelle Lopez Negrete

Katie & Michelle’s Seafood Gumbo


  • 1 batch of roux, recipe follows
  • 3 quarts of seafood stock, recipe follows
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lb 35-count shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb crab claw meat
  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • 2 dozen shucked oysters, liquid reserved 
  • 1 tablespoon of dry oregano
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
  • File powder to taste


In a large cast iron pot, heat the light roux. Season onions, celery, and green peppers with 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the roux and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are wilted. Add the crab claw meat and the seafood stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add Shrimp, oysters, green onions, and parsley. Cook for 5 minutes. Add lump crabmeat and season the gumbo to taste. Add the file powder to your taste and desired thickness. Serve over steamed rice. 


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil

The roux will make the gumbo rich. Some people like light-colored gumbo and some like it dark. Follow these instructions and make the roux as dark as you want. In a black iron skillet or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Using a wire whisk, slowly add the flour, constantly stirring (we tag-teamed it!) until the roux is nutty-colored. At this point, the roux is ideal for thickening a light seafood gumbo. Continue to cook this roux over medium heat, and you will begin to see it change in color, getting darker and more aromatic. Make sure you constantly stir it, so it doesn’t burn.

Seafood Stock:

  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 rib celery coarsely chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1-1/2 to 2 lbs seafood trimmings

Add all ingredients to a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 4 to 8, adding additional water to keep trimming covered. Strain. Seafood stock can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or frozen for several months. Any variety or combination of seafood trimmings can be used to make the stock, e.g., fishbones, crab shells, crawfish heads and claws, shrimp heads, and shells. But never use fish skin, and NEVER let the stock boil while cooking as it will become bitter. FYI, we used shrimp, crab and fish in our stock! Serve over steamed rice.