Seafood File' Gumbo Recipe

3 (slightly heaping) tablespoons shortening
3 (slightly heaping) tablespoons flour
8 to 10 small okra pods, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 quarts water
3 pounds deveined peeled shrimp
1 pound fresh crab meat (optional)
1 pint oysters (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons file' powder
4 cups hot cooked rice

Heat the shortening in a cast-iron skillet. Add the flour gradually, stirring constantly.

Cook over medium to medium-low heat until the roux is dark brown, stirring constantly. Add the okra and green onions and mix well. Saute' for five minutes.

Bring the water to a boil in a six-quart stockpot over high heat. Add the okra mixture and mix well; reduce the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the shrimp, crab meat, oysters, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the tomato paste. Add the file' powder, stirring gently until the file' powder dissolves. Remove from the heat.

Let stand, covered for 10 to 15 minutes. Ladle over the rice in soup bowls. Serves eight.