Seafood Gumbo Pie and Other Mardi Gras Recipes

Gumbo Pie
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound smoked sausage, sliced
3/4 pound cooked boneless ham steak, cut into 2
by 1/4 inch strips
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small celery rib, minced
3 tablespoons rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 pound shrimp, shelled
1/2 pound okra, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

biscuit topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Make the gumbo:
In a heavy medium skillet, combine 3 tablespoons of the oil
with the flour and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally,
until the roux is dark mahogany in color, about 1 hour. Do not let burn.
Immediately remove from heat.

In a medium flameproof casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the
remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the sliced sausage and cook over moderate
heat until well browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Add the ham strips to the casserole and cook until lightly browned, about 7 minutes; add to
the plate with the sausage slices. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the
onion to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to moderately low and add the garlic, green and red bell peppers, celery and
rice. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes longer.

Reheat the brown roux if necessary. Scrape it into the casserole with the vegetables and rice. Stir in the chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the sausages and ham, reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Stir in the cayenne, shrimp and okra and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Cook, stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking
soda and salt.

Cut in the 5 1/2 tablespoons of the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in the buttermilk until a soft dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the
dough 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2-1/2" round cutter, stamp out 12 biscuits.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Pour the hot gumbo into a shallow 9" round
baking dish. Arrange the biscuits on top and brush with the melted butter. Bake until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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