Fry bacon at medium heat, it won't splatter and it comes out crispy
I read up on baking bacon on here, tried it, and haven't fried a strip of bacon (at home) since.
I take 1/2-1# of shrimp or crawfish and pulverize it in my food processor (raw) and add to gumbo, etouffee and shrimp stew. Acts as a thickener and spreads the flavor. Can do the same thing with sausage in your gumbo and jambalaya (if you like a smoked flavor). I also add leftover coffee to my gumbo.