Along with New Orleans essentials--red beans and rice and jambalaya--Diaspora Gumbo was designed as a formula wherein you'd "pick your diaspora by choosing from the following foods, depending on personal preference and availability to obtain ingredients in your evacuation site."
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
• 2 pounds okra, thinly sliced (1/8-inch slices)
• 1 cup flour
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 stalks celery, chopped
• 1 bell pepper, chopped
• 1 1-pound can whole tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 gallon stock (shrimp, chicken, or vegetable)
• 1 clove garlic
Use any combination of the following ingredients depending on your personal
preference and your evacuation site:
• 4 gumbo crabs (can be purchased frozen in 1-pound packages)
• 2 pounds shrimp
• 1 pound smoked sausage (andouille or kielbasa), sliced and browned
• 1 pint oysters
• 2 cups chicken meat
• 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
• Salt and pepper
• Hot sauce
• Sprinkle of filé powder
• Hot cooked rice (1/4 cup per serving)
Cover the bottom of a 10- or 12-inch skillet with vegetable oil (approximately 1/4 cup). Heat oil until very hot, then fry okra in single layers until lightly browned. Reserve the oil.
In a 10- or 12-quart Dutch oven-type pot, make a dark roux by combining 1/2 cup oil with flour and cooking until the mixture is the color of milk chocolate. Add onion and stir together; cook until the roux darkens to a bittersweet chocolate brown. Add celery and bell pepper; cook together for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add stock, garlic, okra and any combination of the diaspora ingredients (except raw shrimp and raw oysters, which must be added in the last 5 minutes before serving).
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes or so, stirring periodically to be sure there's no sticking. In the last 5 minutes, add raw shrimp or oysters if desired along with green onions. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Serve over rice with a sprinkle of filé powder stirred in if desired.
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