This is a tasty gumbo recipe that doesn't take long to make (I got a request for it this afternoon and I just made it this evening in less than an hour). The classic way to serve this is to put cooked rice in the bottom of a bowl and ladle the gumbo on top.
Is this authentic New Orleans Cajun? Naaaahhh. Is it good? I guar-on-tee.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, until the bubbles subside. Using a whisk, stir in the flour (you're making a roux, you mad mad cajun, you). It should be a smooth paste. If it is too grainy (dry) add a little more butter or olive oil. If it is too wet, stir in a little more flour. Cook, stirring regularly, until the roux is light tan.
Some classic gumbos go with a much darker roux, but we don't want to be here all day, we don't want to burn the roux and it takes more roux to thicken the darker you make it. As with most things on this site, we are going for great, not perfection.
Stir in the can of tomatoes and an equal quantity of either water or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
Assuming you are serving this with rice, now would be a good time to get it going.
Add the celery, onions and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the okra (you don't have to defrost it first, just dump it in) and bring back to a simmer. Add the sausage. You can hold this at a simmer for a long time.
Now is the time to flavor it. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and hot sauce. Go easy at first, you can always add more. Make sure you know how much heat your eaters can handle. Better to let them add hot sauce at the table, than to have someone who can't eat it because it's too hot...wimp.
5 minutes before the rice is done, throw in the shrimp. If it was cooked already, bring back to a simmer, then serve over rice. If the shrimp was not cooked, then bring to a simmer, cook for two minutes, THEN serve over rice.