You might be a bit turned off when you see a gumbo on the menu at a restaurant outside of Louisiana – for the most part, you’re not going to know what type of variation you’ll be getting, or if what they call gumbo is actually a gumbo.
If you go to the Marsh House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll find a Seafood Okra Gumbo on the Soups & Salad section of the menu and you might think – gumbo in Nashville?
Though a gumbo is not a specialty in Music City, the Seafood Okra Gumbo you’ll find on the Marsh House menu is. This recipe comes straight from New Orleans. Chef Brian Landry brought this classic NOLA dish, which is shrimp, crab, and oysters, with him when he and his team at QED Hospitality took over. They also operate the L.A. Jackson rooftop bar and Killabrew – all three located at the Thompson Hotel in Nashville.
Landry made seafood his commitment at the Marsh House just like he has done in New Orleans. The menu focuses on using responsibly sourced and sustainable seafood. Besides the seafood and southern focus, you’ll find a raw bar, an extensive wine list, and handcrafted cocktails.
If you’re in Nashville or headed there, you can find the Marsh House on the ground floor of the Thompson at 401 11th Avenue Street in Nashville. For more information or changes in any policies, you can reach them at (615)262-6001 or online at http://www.marshhouserestaurant.com/. To learn more about Chef Brian Landry, you can read my interview with him where we talk about red beans and rice – BRIAN LANDRY: How Do You Red Bean?
Until you can make it to the Marsh House Restaurant and enjoy the sites and sounds of Nashville – a place my wife would love to move to – you can make their Seafood Okra Gumbo at home.
Seafood Okra Gumbo
A variation on the classic New Orleans gumbo with shrimp, crab, and oysters. This is packed with just as much flavor and makes for an easy dish to make at home.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cup diced onion
- 6 each blue crabs quartered
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- ¼ cup garlic minced
- 3 each bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon dry thyme
- 1 tablespoon dry basil
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 2 each ripe tomatoes diced
- 2 cups okra sliced
- 2 oz Worcestershire sauce
- 3 quarts chilled crab stock or shrimp stock
- 1 pound Louisiana shrimp peeled and de veined
- 1 cup crab claw meat
- 1 cup shucked oysters
- Salt black pepper, and Tabasco to taste
- 2 teaspoons filé
In a 2-gallon heavy-bottom stockpot, heat the oil over high heat. Whisk the flour into the oil. Stir constantly until a brown roux is achieved. Add the onion and cook until caramelized.
Once the onion is browned but not burnt, add the crabs. Stir well. Next add the celery, bell pepper, garlic, dry herbs, chili powder, paprika, and chili flakes. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
Add the tomatoes, okra, and Worcestershire. Add the crab stock one ladle at a time stirring constantly making sure there are no lumps of roux. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately ½ hour. Add stock as needed to maintain volume. Skim any impurities or oil that collects at the top.
Add the shrimp and cook for approximately 5 minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through. Now, add the crabmeat and oysters and continue to simmer until the oysters begin to curl. Season with salt, pepper, and tabasco.
Whisk in file right before serving. Serve with steamed rice.
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Keep the red beans cookin’!
Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.