Shrimp Etouffee

Have to start somewhere right? For our very first blog post, I give you a pretty easy recipe for shrimp étouffée. The other day we saw some nice-looking fresh shrimp on sale and snatched it up. So we were trying to plan a dinner around said shrimp. I caught a glimpse of Emeril on TV, on a commercial or something while flipping channels, and thought… “What would Emeril do if he had some shrimp to use for dinner…?”

Shrimp étouffée. That’s definitely what Emeril would do in my situation.

Étouffée is a word coming from the French basically meaning “smothered.” In this dish, your roux does smother the rice underneath, so the translation is apt. A lot of times you see étouffée made with crawfish, but shrimp or other shellfish works well too. I started reading a little more about it and learned that both Cajun and Creole cuisines have traditional étouffées, with a few differences. In Creole étouffées, tomatoes are often added and the roux is cooked for a shorter time period (“blond roux.”) In Cajun étouffées, the roux is cooked for ~10-20 extra minutes, giving it a darker color and different flavor. Adding tomatoes is sacrilegious. The étouffée I made is more of the Creole variety.

Without further ado…

Shrimp Étouffée 

[Recipe is an amalgamation of reading several of Emeril’s recipes and this recipe from the Closet Cooking blog]


Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp butter, divided (4 tbsp & 1 tbsp)
  • 4 tbsp AP flour
  • 3/4lb fresh shrimp, shell on (don’t toss the shells!!)
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • Creole seasoning (essentially Emeril’s Essence, scaled down)
    • 1 tbsp paprika (if you have access to smoked paprika, try 1 tsp smoked paprika & 2 tsp of regular paprika)
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp cayenne
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Sliced green onion to garnish
  • 1/2 cup rice, dry

Instructions: 

  1. Place vegetable stock in saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Add the shrimp shells and tails to the stock and continue to simmer while working on other ingredients.
  2. Place larger saute pan or cast-iron skillet on the burner over medium heat. Add the 4 tbsp of butter to the pan and melt.
  3. Once butter is melted, begin whisking in flour slowly. I use a regular spoon and tap little bits into the butter with my left hand while continuously whisking with my right hand. If you just dump flour in all it once, it will burn and get lumpy and frankly taste terrible. So plan on being there a little while. This step will take at least 10 minutes. You want the {butter + flour = roux} to start to darken in color to a light brown.
  4. Once you have the roux, add the onions and garlic. Cook for ~5 minutes over the same medium heat. Then add the bell pepper and continue cooking for another ~5 minutes. (If your roux has gotten pretty thick and you’re concerned about the vegetables sticking and burning, add a spoonful or two of the stock.)
  5. Strain the shrimp shells from the stock. Use a very fine mesh strainer or even cheesecloth. Add the stock to your pan, along with the tomatoes, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and spices. Adjust the temperature so this is simmering. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for ~20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your rice per package instructions. When the rice is done, add the remaining 1 tbsp of butter and keep covered.
  6. Taste the sauce and adjust salt & pepper as needed. Add the shrimp to the sauce and cook for < 5 minutes, until the shrimp have just turned pink.
  7. Serve etouffee over rice and garnish with the green onions.

Makes 2 large servings. 

 

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