The Family Meal: Latter Healthy Creole Gumbo

Candace and Mark Latter took different routes into the restaurant business in New Orleans. Yet their shared love of food, wine and hospitality brought them together, and helped them to breathe new life into the city’s second-oldest restaurant and to create a popular new spot, Bar Frances opened in 2013, on bustling Freret Street
Latter Healthy Creole Gumbo
(Serves 10-12)
4 quarts Shrimp Stock (see recipe below or use a store-bought seafood version, such as Imagine Foods)
1 cup avocado oil
1 cup coconut flour
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
3/4 lbs. green onion chicken sausage
1 lb. gumbo crabs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Creole Seasoning, to taste
2 lbs. Gulf shrimp, peeled
1/2 lbs. claw crabmeat
1 pint Gulf oysters
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 lb. fresh okra, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup green onions (white and green parts)
brown rice, cooked
Heat the shrimp stock in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. If the stock comes to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest possible temperature while keeping it hot.
In a heavy skillet, heat the avocado oil until shimmering over medium-high heat. Add the coconut flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until a dark roux is achieved, about 10-15 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly until the onions are softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and green pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the strained shrimp stock to the roux and vegetables, then bring the mixture to a boil. Add the sausage, gumbo crabs, salt and pepper, and the creole seasoning to taste. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook until the mixture is thickened and fragrant, about 1 hour.
Add the shrimp, crabmeat, oysters, parsley, okra and green onions. Cook until the shrimp are pink and the edges of the oysters ruffle, about 5 minutes. 
Serve the gumbo over brown rice.
Shrimp Stock
Heads and shells from 2 lbs. fresh Gulf shrimp
1 large onion, halved
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns, crushed
1 gallon filtered, cold water
Place all of the ingredients in a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, skimming any foam as necessary. Continue to boil until reduced by one-fourth, about 15-20 minutes. Strain the stock and discard the solids. Chill the stock.
Tujague’s Restaurant, 823 Decatur St., New Orleans, 504.525.8676,
Bar Frances, 4525 Freret St., New Orleans, 504.371.5043,        
Latter Family
Candace and Mark Latter Tujague’s and Bar Frances

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