Gumbo, a hearty stew made with anything from sausage or duck to rabbit or seafood, starts with a roux, a mix of flour and oil that's cooked until it turns dark and nutty, giving the stew recipe its signature earthy flavor. This crab and shrimp gumbo recipe comes from Eula Mae Doré, who was the cook at the Commissary on Avery Island, home to the makers of Tabasco sauce. Just as most cooks of her generation did, she learned Cajun cooking by watching, rather than from cookbooks. Serve with brown rice.

Seafood Gumbo

Recipe adapted from "Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen" by Eula Mae Doré and Marcelle R. Bienvenu (Harvard Common Press, 2007).

Makes 8 servings.

Active Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 1/4 hours

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound okra, fresh or frozen (thawed), trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped green bell peppers

1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onions

1 1/4 cups chopped scallions, divided

1 cup chopped celery

1 clove garlic, minced

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice

2 cups seafood stock or water

1/2 cup cubed boiled deli ham

2 bay leaves