3 pounds medium wild-caught Gulf shrimp, heads on
2 pounds cooked blue crab claw meat, picked through for shells, handled carefully to keep the meat in big chunks
4 large ripe tomatoes or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juices
3/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 bunch celery including leaves, coarsely chopped
2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
8 cups shrimp or seafood stock, heated
1/4 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, such as LuLu's Crazy Creole Seasoning
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 bay leaves
4 blue crab bodies, if available (optional)
2 1/2 pounds fresh okra, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces, or thawed frozen cut okra
2 cups finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Cooked white rice, for serving
French bread and butter, for serving
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