Green Tomato Gumbo Prep: 45 min., Cook: 1 hr. 20 min.

¾ cup vegetable oil ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 medium sized green bell pepper, finely chopped 2 medium sized yellow onions, finely chopped 2 celery ribs, finely chopped 4 japaleno peppers, finley chopped 6 garlic cloves, minced 1 TBS green hot sauce 4 TBS fresh lime juice 1 TBS Cajun Seasoning 3 (14 oz.) chicken broth 4 Lbs green tomatoes, cored and chopped 1 Lb New Orleans –style (spicy) smoked sausage, cut in ¼ in thick slices 2 bay leaves Salt to taste Pepper to taste 1 16 oz pkg. frozen cut okra 2 2/3 cups extra long grain white rice 1 lb fresh, medium sized unpeeled shrimp 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped 1 TBS filé powder 8 precooked hickory smoked bacon slices, crumbled Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs Heat oil in large Dutch oven over high heat; gradually whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly 5 minutes or until flour is the color of a copper penny. (Do not burn mixture.) Reduce heat to medium; stir in bell pepper, and next 7 ingredients. Stir in chicken broth and next 3 ingredients. Increse heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Skim off fat with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in okra, cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Prepare rice according to package directions; set aside. Peel shrimp, and devine if desired. Stir in shrimp, chopped cilantro, and file powder; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and are done. Spoon ½ cup of rice into each of 16 serving bowls; spoon 1 ¼ cups gumbo over rice, and sprinkle with bacon; garnish with cilantro if desired. Makes 16 servings