It's National Oyster Day and, I have to admit, I've never been such a big fan. Sometimes when I'm not sure about a particular dish, though, I tend to look for something that I know will be a sure-fire winner: a Latin-inspired slow cooker seafood recipe

I don't know what it is about the slow cooker that has me SO obsessed (okay, maybe it's the ease of making every dish) but I'm in love with these 3 Latin-inspired slow cooker seafood recipes that are great for National Oyster Day or, well, any other seafood-loving family. Whether it's the slow cooker spicy seafood gumbo (with yummy shrimp, oysters, crab meat AND fish), the slow cooker paella (with sausage and fish—I personally would throw in chorizo and shrimp) or the slow cooker corn and crab chowder (what Latino doesn't love corn?), any one of these would be an instant family favorite. 

Read more ¿Qué más? 3 Amazing slow cooker Latin soups (RECIPES)

Slow Cooker Spicy Seafood Gumbo (recipe courtesy of About.com)

Ingredients:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
8 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth, canned or from base
2 large cans (28 ounces each) tomatoes, diced
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen okra, sliced, thawed
1 pound crab claws
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 large dried bay leaves
1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
2 teaspoons dried leaf thyme
2 teaspoons dried leaf basil
2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds shrimp, medium, unpeeled
1 quart oysters, undrained
1 pound crab meat
1 pound fish fillets, such as catfish or other firm white fish, cut in 1-inch pieces
hot cooked rice
file powder, optional

Directions:
1. Combine oil and flour in a heavy skillet; cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until roux is dark. Be very careful to keep the roux from scorching. Stir in onion, celery, and garlic; cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Transfer mixture to a Dutch oven or large kettle. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, okra, crab claws, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, sage, and pepper; simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Peel and devein shrimp. Add shrimp, oysters, crab meat, and fish to the pot; simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve gumbo over hot cooked rice and, if desired, sprinkle with file.

Slow Cooker Paella (recipe courtesy of A Year of Slow Cooking)

Ingredients:
2 spicy sausage, cut up (I used chicken spicy Italian)
1.5 lbs of thick fish steak (I used halibut)
1 each of a yellow, red, orange bell pepper, cut in chunks
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 head of cauliflower florets
2 T butter
1/4 tsp kosher salt
very healthy pinch of saffron (about 1/2 tsp)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice (I used white. I should have used brown.)

Directions:
1. Dump the rice and chicken broth into the crockpot and stir. Stir in the saffron and the salt. Add the butter, and chopped onion, cauliflower, and bell pepper. Add the cut up sausage and the fish to the top.

2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4, or until rice has absorbed the liquid and is cooked and the fish is flaky.

Slow Cooker Corn & Clam Chowder (recipe courtesy of Cinnamon 'En' Spice)

Ingredients:
2 can (14.5 ounces) each of low sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound of potatoes , peeled and diced
1 cup of baby carrots
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, trimmed and diced
1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of old bay seasoning
1 package of frozen corn
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
1 can (12 ounces) of evaporated skim milk
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 container (8 ounces) of crab claw meat

Directions:
1. Combine chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, thyme and old bag in a large oval slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

2. In a bowl stir together red pepper, evaporated milk, corn, cornstarch and salt. Uncover slow cooker and add in stir in red pepper mixture into slow cooker, replace cover and cook on either high or low for one hour.

3. Stir in crabmeat into soup and heat through. Serve warm.

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Do you like to eat Latin-style oysters? What is your favorite Latin-inspired slow cooker seafood dish? Share with us in the comments below!

Images via ChelseaM/flickr, fred_v/flickr, simplerich/flickr

About the author

Irina Gonzalez is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She loves pop culture, social media, photography and, above all, discovering new places. She's also a foodie eating healthy and learning to enjoy exercise.

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