I bought a lot of fresh okra and three big bags of frozen shrimp this summer when we went to the Asian foods market up in Blois. Louisiana gumbo came to mind. I finally got around to making it over the weekend. I used okra that I blanched and stored in the freezer. I peeled and deveined the shrimp.
I found a recipe on the Epicurious web site that I liked because it didn't call for pounds and pounds of shrimp and sausages. It didn't make gallons and gallons of gumbo, which is a spicy soup or stew served with steamed rice. We had some riz complet de Camargue brown rice that we thought would be good with it, and it was.
In the freezer, I also found a liter of turkey broth, left over from poaching a turkey last Christmas. Perfect. We have plenty of Louisiana hot sauce that I've brought back from the U.S. on recent trips. We also have hot peppers — habenero, serrano, and cayenne — that we grew last summer and dried in the dehydrator.
The base of Louisiana gumbo is a roux — flour cooked in vegetable oil — which you can make as light or dark as you want. I made a fairly dark brown roux for this one. The flavor base is the what they call "the trinity" in Creole and Cajun cooking — onion, bell peppers, and celery (céleri-branches) diced up and cooked first in the roux and then in the stew.
Of course, I had to substitute locally available ingredients for the authentic Louisiana ingredients, but that's okay. For example, I couldn't get what they call "andouille" smoked sausages here in Saint-Aignan — French andouille is another thing entirely — but I could get both plain saucisses de Toulouse and smoked saucisses de Montbéliard.