in a cast iron or non stick skillet on medium heat, partially sauté all vegetables, keeping the onions and celery separate from the bell peppers. remove from the heat while they are still somewhat crunchy and place the celery and onions in one bowl and the bell peppers into another.
in a dutch oven or deep pot on high heat, mix together two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of flour until a roux forms. make sure to stir constantly as you DO NOT want the roux to BURN, you just want it to brown. ( If you feel it's just not "browning" don't worry about it - we will fix it later. ) Reduce your heat and add your cooked vegetables to the roux, continuing to stir until they begin to become tender.
Slowly add 1 cup of shrimp stock to your roux and vegetable mixture and adjust your heat to medium-low. In a separate non-stick skillet on medium/high heat, sauté andouille sausage until they are slightly charred on the outside. Remove them from the skillet and cut them diagonally into thick slices, and add to the pot, allowing them to cook the remainder of the time in the pot.
Cut your okra into small 1 inch thick slices and add them into the pot, stirring gently. And the pot thickens... HA! Add 1½ cups of chicken stock and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
With a potato smasher, or any creative object of your choosing, smash three tomatoes, one at a time, in a bowl and add them to the pot. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for another 15 - 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Depending on the thickness of gumbo, you may choose to thicken it more. This is also an opportunity to darken your juice, since the tomatoes will turn it red.
In a non-stick skillet on high heat - melt two tablespoons of butter first, then fold in two tablespoons of butter. Stir fast and consistently to avoid burning your roux. if your temperature is hot enough, the flour will brown. continue to stir NON-STOP until your roux is as dark as you desire. you may need to remove the skillet from direct heat from time to time to avoid burning. creating roux is a technique.
Using a large spoon, or a glass measuring cup, take some of the juice from your gumbo and add it to the roux. Do not directly apply the roux to the gumbo, it will be extremely difficult to blend and you may end up with chunks lingering around in the bottom. once you've created a "gravy-like" consistency, add the mixture back to the pot and mix well.
Add your crab meat and crawfish and the remainder of the chicken stock, mixing into the gumbo for about 5 minutes. Around this time I like to add in about a tablespoon and a half to the gumbo. Just about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, add your shrimp, serve over rice and enjoy!!!
i used pre-made shrimp stock in this recipe. you can create your own by purchasing whole shrimp and boiling the heads of shrimp in a pot with celery, onions, garlic, salt and pepper!
the way this dish is prepared is unique to my style. my style, of course is adapted from various techniques picked up from some of the most amazing women in my family who, in a cooking competition, would put me to shame. with that said, some things have been omitted to preserve the sorcery of family secrets and traditions that have graced the stomachs of those lucky enough .. lol enjoy!