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Shrimp Etouffee

By 6:01 AM , , , ,

The Wife and I try and celebrate holidays with meals, especially ones that lend themselves so well to cooking regional/ethnic foods. Among our favorites are Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day and of course Fat Tuesday. Some people do pancakes on Fat Tuesday, but I go straight for the Bayou. I was debating gumbo or etouffee.

What's the difference you ask? Gumbo is traditionally a stew while Etouffee comes from the french word for "smother" and is meant to be served over something, like rice. True, Gumbo often comes with rice as well, but the nuances I'll leave for those on the Delta to argue over.

I opted with the etouffee.

I found this recipe from Food and Wine, and made a few changes. Everything I had read on creole/cajun cooking blogs said that the roux is key, and the recipe didn't look like it allowed enough time for the roux to develop. I made my own roux, and then added the vegetables before stirring in the chicken stock and spices. It turned out great, better than expected, and it's easy to sub out shrimp for anything else like crayfish, oysters, or chicken for the faint hearted.

Once you get past the roux, it's a fairly simple and quick recipe, very easy to follow. These are my directions and ingredients.

The roux recipe can be found here. Make immediately beforehand, and use the same pot.

1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Ribs of Celery, chopped
2 Onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1 Bay Leaf
2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 1/2 lbs raw medium Shrimp. peeled and deveined
2 scallions, sliced

Add the chopped vegetables to your hot roux, but be careful the roux doesn't splatter. Keeping the pot over medium heat, stir in the veggies to incorporate. Let the vegetables soften in the roux, about 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the roux from burning.

Stir in the chicken broth, keep stirring to incorporate the roux and broth.

Add in the Bay Leaf, Salt, Cayenne, Black Pepper and Thyme and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. This is a good time to start your rice, if you're serving over rice.

In the last 5 minutes stir in the shrimp and scallions, stir and cover the pot. Let simmer until shrimp are cooked through. Serve over rice.
This recipe is excellent, but The Wife and I found that srirachi took it to the next level.

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