NEW ORLEANS — Over the course of its 300-year history, New Orleans’ cuisine has been one of its greatest gifts to the world. Now, as we celebrate the city’s 300th birthday and WWL-TV’s 60th anniversary, our gift to you is a free e-cookbook, with 'Family Favorite' recipes.

Click here to download the free "Family Favorites" cookbook

This cookbook series celebrates New Orleans’ family favorites recipes, to coincide with the city’s tricentennial. What better way to commemorate 300 years of life in the city we love than by celebrating the thing that truly unites us all: food.

Gumbo Base

Ingredients

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup green pepper, chopped

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 bay leaves

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. Creole seasoning

8-10 cups chicken/vegetable/seafood stock

Parsley and green onions, chopped for garnish

Cooked rice for serving

Ingredient Options

The ingredients listed above can be used in any combination you choose. The amounts are just a suggestion, always make it to your taste.

1 lb. andouille or smoked sausage, sliced

4 boneless chicken thighs, cut in 1" pieces

2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 gumbo crabs

1/2 lb. hot sausage

1 lb. okra, sliced

Vegetables

Directions

Place onions, celery and bell pepper in a stock pot and set aside.

In a stainless steel or cast-iron pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add flour, and use a whisk to slowly stir, making sure to cover the entire bottom of the pan until flour is a chocolate color. Pour roux on top of vegetables in stock pot and stir. Place pot over medium heat, add garlic, bay leaves, salt, and Creole seasoning, and stir for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Use this as the base for gumbo recipes of choice.

NOTE:

Once the gumbo boils, it can simmer for hours. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors blend. Keep in mind if you are adding shrimp, they only need to cook for the last 10 minutes before serving.

RELATED: Chef Kevin Belton's Andouille & Alligator Gumbo

Watch Chef Kevin Belton every Tuesday morning on Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV and WUPL.Follow him on Twitter at @ChefKevinBelton