Using minimum seasonings lets the fresh, light taste of the seafood shine. Jane praises fresh garlic. You can tell it's fresh if it does not have a growing green germ in the center. If you see the beginning of a sprout, pull it out and discard.
3 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
1/4 cup toasted unbleached all-purpose flour*
1 1/2 cups sliced green onion
3 cups coarsely chopped celery
1 pound fresh or frozen okra, cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
5 cups chicken, fish, or vegetable stock, heated
1 3/4 pounds medium-size shrimp, peeled
1 (16-ounce) container fresh oysters
8 ounces fresh crabmeat, drained and picked
1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
How to Make It
Heat the oil in a large stainless-steel or enamel-coated pot over medium heat. Stir in toasted flour, blending well. Stir in green onions. (The flour will stick to the vegetables.) Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until onions wilt. Add the celery, okra, tomatoes, and heated stock, stirring until well blended. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
Stir in shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat. Cook 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink and oysters begin to curl. Stir in the garlic. Let stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
*To make toasted flour, spread 3/4 cup all-purpose flour in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often, or until flour is light beige (it will darken when mixed with fat). Cool; process in a blender or food processor to remove any lumps. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container until ready to use.