Monday, August 3, 2009
Cajun Shrimp Etouffee
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I suspect there are few things harder than being the newest member of a tightly knit family whose members all hold strong opinions. Fortunately, the folks who have married into this clan have been adopted by it and can hold their own at our sometimes raucous table. A twist of fortune has added a southern gentleman to our mix of color and temperament and we make this etouffee for him whenever he visits. It's really easy to, but this recipe has a "gottcha" just waiting for those who don't thoroughly read the recipe before beginning its preparation. The last entry in the ingredient list calls for the addition of roux. Most of us don't a stock roux in the pantry or refrigerator. I know I don't, so I've included a recipe for one for those who are inspired to try this delicious entry. An etouffee is similar to a gumbo but it's thicker and is considered to be an entree while a gumbo is categorized as a soup. I'm told that in Cajun cooking the word etouffee means "smothered in a sauce." These shrimp are, indeed, smothered in sauce. Here's how we make it.
Cajun Shrimp Etouffee...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 pounds fresh or frozen peeled shrimp
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups water or shrimp stock
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika (I use smoked pimenton)
2 to 3 dashes hot pepper sauce
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup brown roux (see below)
1) Melt butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add onions, celery, green and red peppers and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
2) Stir in shrimp, water (or shrimp stock), tomato sauce and spices. Bring mixture to a boil; stir in the roux and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until shrimp are tender and opaque. If the sauce is too thick thin with water or stock. Serve hot over rice. Yield: 6 servings.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Combine oil and flour in a heavy saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until deep brown. Watch carefully to prevent burning.