Mary Ellis – Recipe for Romance – Part 1 of 2

Shannon here: Mary Ellis shares her recipe for Crawfish Gumbo from her romantic suspense, Midnight on the Mississippi. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Aug 7 – 10 to enter the drawing for a copy, US and Canada only. Deadline: August 15th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Mary:

Mary EllisMary Ellis wedding day

Midnight on the Missisippi by ary Ellis Mary Ellis Crawfish Gumbo


Author’s note: Hunter and Nicki enjoyed eating gumbo several times in my story. My husband and I love the hearty soup as well. Here is my favorite recipe for Crawfish Gumbo. However, since crawfish tails aren’t always available in Ohio, I often must substitute cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp.

Crawfish Gumbo

3lbs. crawfish tails or shrimp, peeled
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onion tops, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
Season to taste

1. Make a roux.
2. Place roux in a pot.
3. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, green onion tops and stir until soft
4. Add 2 quarts water, Rotel tomatoes and seasonings.
5. Simmer for 1 hour.
6. Add crawfish (or shrimp), garlic, parsley and simmer for 30 minutes.
7. Serve over rice (brown or white).

Note: The most important ingredient in Louisiana gumbo is the roux, which is equal parts flour and oil combined and stirred together over medium-high heat until the desired color is achieved. (Consistency is a thin, pudding-like paste.) The cooking process breaks down the flour, imparting a distinctive nutty taste. It will take a little practice to get the color you want, ranging from café au lait to chocolate brown. Be careful the roux doesn’t stick to bottom of pan. Stir constantly. The closer you get to dark brown, the closer you are to a burned roux. If the roux scorches you must start over. Once you reached the desired color, slowly add some hot water and stir. (Don’t use cold water or the flour and oil might separate) Then add the onions, celery, bell pepper, green onions, stirring until soft, and continue with recipe.

About Mary: Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, Midnight on the Mississippi, first of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, is set in New Orleans. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. Learn more and connect: or!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

About the book – Midnight on the Mississippi (Secrets of the South Mysteries Book 1):

What Lies Beneath the Black Water of the Bayou?

Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder as she establishes herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen-Nowak Investments, Hunter’s fiancée, Ashley Menard, rubs her the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman who seems to be hiding something, but is the PI’s growing attraction to Hunter—the police’s only suspect—her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As Hunter and Nicki encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and death threats both subtle and overt, danger swirls around them like the mysterious dark water of the bayou. Only their reliance on faith and fearless determination give them hope they will live to see another day.

Purchase Links:

Question for readers: Where is your favorite spot for a family vacation?

Come back August 10th for Mary’s excerpt!

10 Responses to “Mary Ellis – Recipe for Romance – Part 1 of 2”

  • Shelia Hall says:

    Love Gatlingburg TN

  • Melanie Backus says:

    I am an easy vacationer! I always seem to love every place I visit.

  • angela chesnut says:

    Oreo and I would love to win.

  • Red River I think….We’ve had some GREAT vacation/field trips in the past, but this one stands out in my mind as REALLY enjoyable! Red River, NM is a beautiful place and we went when there weren’t that many people vacationing there at the time. The hotel we stayed in allowed dogs and the river was right out the door! I was awesome! 🙂 I am so Blessed with the memories!

    Sincerely, Amada (

  • Stella Potts says:

    The Big Island Hawaii, This book sounds like the kind I love to read

  • Terrill Rosado says:

    I am going to try your gumbo recipe with chicken instead of shrimp/crawfish. I’m not a big seafood eater, but all the flavors are screaming out to me.

    I really don’t care too much where we vacation. I really just like lots of family around, sharing stories, playing games and enjoying outings.

  • I love gumbo, Mary. Not big on crawfish, but shrimp is my favorite seafood. I love vacation anywhere in Texas. I’m aiming for Galveston next trip. We went several years ago and I loved it.

  • Debbie Clatterbuck says:

    Vacation? What’s that? I have never been on a vacation, let alone a family vacation. However, if I were to choose a spot I would say a tropical beach somewhere with my girls and my granddaughters. And a response to Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s reply, I lived in Texas in the 80’s and thought it a beautiful place, except for the scorpions and the HUGE cockroaches. Good luck everyone on this giveaway.

  • Connie Saunders says:

    We don’t get many chances to vacation so any place is appreciated but I especially love Cumberland Falls, near Corbin, KY.

  • Carolyn West says:

    We recently went on a rails package thru Amtrack took train to Salt Lake City then a bus to Yellowstone ending at Glacier It was great no planning just get on and ride

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