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Gumbo at Copia Restaurant & Wine Garden

Gumbo photographed on March 10, 2015, at Copia Restaurant & Wine Garden. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Yield: 16 cups

For roux

Scant 5 tablespoons bacon drippings

Generous 9½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

For gumbo

Vegetable oil

Generous ¾ cup diced yellow onion

Generous ¾ cup diced red bell pepper

1 pound andouille sausage, diced

2/3 of 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

Scant 1¼ teaspoons ground fennel

Scant 1¼ teaspoons ground dried oregano

Scant 1¼ teaspoons ground granulated garlic

Scant 1¼ teaspoons ground dried thyme

Scant 1¼ teaspoons ground gumbo file

Scant 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Scant 2½ teaspoons Tabasco

Generous 1½ ounces Minor’s Clam Base

Scant 6½ cups water

1 pound frozen cooked crawfish tails, thawed

1 pound frozen shrimp, thawed

½ pound frozen scallops, thawed

Generous 6 ounces frozen sliced okra

Cooked white rice and saltines, for serving

Note: Scaling restaurant recipes for home kitchens is some times more art than science. To maintain exact proportions, this recipe calls for “scant” and “generous” amounts, just use a little bit less or a little bit more than called for.

1. Make roux. In a large, heavy skillet on medium-low heat, combine bacon drippings and about half the flour. Cook for up to 30 minutes, whisking often with a heavy metal whisk, adding the remaining flour in batches and adjusting the heat as needed to avoid scorching the roux. In the end, the roux should be cinnamon-colored and pourable like molasses, not runny.

2. Make gumbo. While roux cooks, in a large, heavy Dutch oven, heat a film of vegetable oil until shimmery. One at a time, stir in onion, red pepper and andouille, letting each cook for 2 or 3 minutes before adding the next. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in spices, let cook for a minute or two. Stir in Tabasco.

3. Separately, mix clam base and water to make clam stock. Add about ¾ stock to gumbo and bring to a boil.

4. One at a time, add crawfish, shrimp and scallops, letting gumbo come back to a boil before adding the next.

5. Whisk in about half the roux, mixing completely. Whisk in remaining roux and return to a boil. Whisk in remaining stock and return to a boil.

6. Stir in okra and return to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

7. To serve Copia-style, ladle into cups or bowls over rice with saltines on the side.

Per (1-cup) serving: 251 calories; 11g fat; 4g saturated fat; 98mg cholesterol; 19g protein; 19g carbohydrate; 2g sugar; 1g fiber; 671mg sodium; 60mg calcium.

Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch.