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Lousiana Shrimp Gumbo

Cuisine at Home; takes 1 hour; serves 8 as a small starter course, or 4, 2-cup helpings
Don't let the long list of ingredients sway you from making this -- much of it is just a list of very common herbs

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined - slice in half
6 slices diced bacon
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons dry sherry (if you don't have sherry, you can use wine, the flavor won't be quite the same)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups bottled clam juice
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup converted-style rice
1 cup sliced okra
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Fry up bacon in a large soup pot until crisp. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and put on paper towels to drain. Pour off bacon drippings. If desired, use bacon drippings for sauteeing all of the vegetables, or replace equal amounts of olive oil for the drippings. Saute shrimp in 2 Tablespoons drippings for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove shirmp and set aside. Add 3 Tablespoons of the drippings or oil and saute onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Combine flour and seasonings and stir into vegetables. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Deglaze pan with lemon juice, sherry, and Worcestershire, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the clam juice, chicken broth, and rice. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.

Stir in okra, scallions, shrimp and bacon. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with celery leaves.