Commander’s Palace is a New Orleans institution, and they make fabulous seafood gumbo. Commander’s Palace Seafood gumbo is a medley of seafood and vegetables, including shrimp, crab, oysters, onions, garlic, peppers, and okra. You don’t know what you are missing if you haven’t tried the best gumbo.
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About Commander’s Palace Restaurant
For well over 100 years, Commander’s Palace has been a venerated New Orleans landmark in the Garden District. The restaurant has earned seven James Beard Foundation awards. But there is much more to this legendary restaurant than its haute Creole cuisine and infamous 25-cent lunchtime martini specials.
Commander’s Palace has been serving up classic Cajun and Creole recipes for generations, prepared by some of the finest chefs in Louisiana, including Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Jamie Shannon, Tory McPhail, and Meg Bickford.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the seafood gumbo. No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Commander’s Palace for a bowl of this fabulous gumbo. Their dining room is elegant with glass chandeliers and rich, plush chairs, and the hand-painted murals in the dining room are lovely.
However, if you can’t make it to the Big Easy, you can still savor the taste of this dish by cooking up a batch at home using the Louisiana seafood gumbo recipe below.
What is Gumbo?
At its heart, gumbo is simply a stew. This Creole recipe originated in Lousianna at the turn of the 20th century and is so ingrained in the area’s culture that it is listed as the state’s official cuisine.
Traditionally, gumbo was made from anything that walks, flies, or swims, but these days, the most popular versions are chicken, sausage, or seafood.
So, what is usually in gumbo besides meat or fish?
First off, all gumbos contain onions, bell peppers, and celery. These three vegetables are so prevalent in Cajun and Creole cooking that they are sometimes called the ‘Holy Trinity’ of the cuisine.
In addition to the veggies, gumbos always contain some thickener. Most recipes call for using okra in addition to filé powder or roux. Okra is a popular vegetable throughout the South. Filé powder comes from the leaves of the American sassafras tree. Roux is a mixture of flour and fat.
The ingredients used for thickening in this recipe are roux and okra.
Isn’t Gumbo Just Another Name For Jambalaya?
Don’t be confused when it comes to gumbo and jambalaya. Although both are popular Lousiana dishes, they are not the same thing.
Jambalaya is a slightly older recipe than gumbo and first began appearing in New Orleans’s French Quarter in the late 1800s.
Besides the recipe’s origins, the most distinct difference is how each dish uses rice. Gumbo is served on top of white rice, while white rice is cooked in the same pot as the rest of the jambalaya.
The cooking method for jambalaya creates a naturally thicker stew and eliminates the need for additional thickeners.
Seafood Gumbo Ingredients
Here’s a list of what you will need to make seafood gumbo:
- All-purpose flour – this is to make a dark brown roux
- Vegetable shortening – You can use shortening or vegetable oil
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Onion – white onions are recommended. Yellow onions are ok to use.
- Red or Green Bell pepper
- Peeled raw shrimp (fresh is best, but frozen is ok)
- Tomato sauce
- Crab meat (claw meat is preferred)
- Bunch Parsley
- Bay leaves
- Okra – fresh okra is best
- Oysters with juice
How to Make Seafood Gumbo
Here are the steps for making this copycat Commanders Palace gumbo recipe:
- Cook flour and shortening in a large pot over medium-high heat until the flour turns brown and begins to smell nutty. Stir occasionally.
- Add garlic and cook until golden brown.
- Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook until transparent, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot.
- Lower heat to low, and add shrimp and tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, stir in water, and blend well.
- Add all other ingredients except okra and oysters. Cook for about 30 minutes.
- Add okra, and cook until the okra turns bright green.
- Add oysters and cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve the gumbo in a soup bowl over steamed rice.
Tips For Cooking and Storing the Roux For This Louisiana Seafood Gumbo Recipe
- Rule the roux. Be careful when making your roux. Ideally, you aim for a dark, melted chocolate color, but it is easy to burn the flour. Heat very slowly until it reaches the desired color. It can take up to an hour to reach the perfect color, but remember, you can always use an under-colored roux, but you can’t use one you burn. If black spots appear, you’ve burnt the roux and must start over.
- Don’t waste a great roux. Making a roux takes time. You can double or triple the amount you need for the seafood gumbo recipe and then store the rest in an airtight container in the freezer.
- Use a wooden spoon. Use a wood spoon. You will be stirring for a long time. A metal spoon will heat up and become uncomfortable.
What to serve with Gumbo
Now that you have made a delicious pot of gumbo in your own kitchen, what should you serve with this? I recommend a cold beer. Grab some Abita beer if you want to enjoy gumbo like the residents of New Orleans. Here are a few additional suggestions.
- Rice – Hot buttered rice is perfect to serve with Gumbo.
- Potato Salad – People in Northern Louisiana enjoy a scoop of potato salad with their gumbo. A mustard-based potato salad is one you should try with your gumbo.
- Pickled Okra – The brine of the pickled okra is a great palate cleanser.
- Sliced green onions – Some people love to sprinkle green onions on their gumbo when serving it.
How to Store and Reheat Seafood Gumbo Leftovers
Storing: Allow the gumbo to cool to room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Transfer the gumbo to an airtight container, leaving about an inch of space at the top to expand if you plan on freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezing: Allow the gumbo to cool to room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Transfer the gumbo to a freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion. Seafood gumbo can be frozen for up to 3 months for best quality. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: Transfer the gumbo to a pot and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until warm. Always ensure the gumbo reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F when reheating. Overcooking can cause seafood to become rigid, so avoid boiling it vigorously.
Love Cajun and Creole food? Try these recipes
- How to Make Chicken Gumbo
- Best Shrimp and Grits
- Louisiana Cajun Rice Recipe
- Crawfish Etouffee
- Crawfish Soup Bisque
- Cajun Shrimp
- Cajun Seasoning Mix
- Louisiana Bourbon Chicken
- Cajun Dip Recipe
- Shrimp Remoulade
More Fine Dining Seafood Recipes
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Commanders Palace Seafood Gumbo
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 6 cloves chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 pounds shrimp peeled
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 quarts water
- 1 pounds crabmeat claw preferred
- 1 bunch chopped Parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 8 ounces okra frozen
- 1/2 pint Oysters with Juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Make a roux with the flour and shortening. Cook flour and shortening in a large pot over medium-high heat until the flour turns brown and begins to smell nutty.
- Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook until transparent.
- Turn heat down to low, and add shrimp and tomato sauce, simmer 10 minutes, stir in water, and blend well.
- Turn heat down to simmer and add all other ingredients except okra and oysters.
- Cook for about 30 minutes add okra, and cook until the okra turns bright green.
- Add oysters and cook 10 minutes longer. Serve in a soup bowl over steamed rice.
- Do not use a cast iron pot to cook the soup, it will discolor the soup. Stainless steel, or a ceramic pot like Le Cruset is recommended.