Oyster Gumbo

Oyster Gumbo

This oyster gumbo is the best. I have lived in New Orleans for a long time. My ancestors arrived in the New Orleans area in the mid to late 1800’s. They succeeded in adapting to the bounty of seafood available in this rich and watery land and used their French, Spanish, and Irish ingenuity to create beauty from these indigenous foods.

My family loves oysters and we have learned to incorporate them into everyday eating as well as holiday traditions.

I learned to make the traditional Creole milky oyster stew from my grandmother and oysters Mosca and seafood gumbo from my mom. I was influenced by New Orleans restaurants to learn how to create my own version of oysters Rockefeller and oysters Bienville. And, of course, we all know how to shuck an oyster and grill them on the half shell.

Recently I was introduced to a new way to eat oysters by Chef Melissa Martin at the Mosquito Supper Club in New Orleans. Chef Martin makes what she calls a “thin gumbo” meaning a gumbo without a roux. This thin oyster gumbo is part of her Cajun heritage and tradition and is a recipe that Chef Martin says is disappearing.

We have simplified Chef Martin’s recipe to use only a quart of oysters and modified the amount of seasoning accordingly. This makes a delicious thin yet bold and full gumbo. Chef Martin recommends serving this gumbo with a loaf of crusty bread.

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