The first year I lived in the US, I used to spend quite a bit of time in New Orleans. I had a friend who lived there, and to say I envied her is an understatement. Every time I got off the plane after 2 insane connecting flights from all the way up in upstate (up up upstate) New York, I felt like I was alive again. This city is all kinds of crazy, starting with the colors. I have vivid memories of all the bright colors that fill your eyes everywhere you look. I just loved it.
Unfortunately I never got to be there during Mardi Gras, but my friend filled me in amply: it seemed like the place to be for these few days, yet another reason to be jealous (not enough Mardi Gras going on in upstate New York if you ask me.) So this year, I decided on a random whim to celebrate the way I do, with food. That was the best idea I’ve had all week: this shrimp etouffee is like a celebration of all the Mardi Gras I’ve ever missed, wrapped into a deep and spicy gravy, and set onto a plate. It’s insane how good Southern cooking is. I should really look further into this. In the meantime, if your plan for tonight is to put on your brightest beads and celebrate cajun style, I can only recommend a dish of shrimp etouffee to make things perfect. I’ve been thanking myself for my random whim.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1 lb shrimp, shelled
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups shrimp stock
- 1 tbsp creole seasoning (see below)
- 1 tsp thyme, chopped
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- hot sauce, to taste
- green onions, chopped (to serve)
1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, until browned. Stir in the flour and cook while stirring for about 1 or 2 minutes, until it has browned.
2. Add the celery, onions and peppers, lower to medium heat and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender, stirring regularly.
3. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp stock, tomatoes, creole seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring now and then.
4. Add the shrimp and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, sprinkled with chopped green onions over a plate of white rice.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yields 2 tbsp
- 1 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 small dried cayenne peppers, chopped and seeds removed
- 2 tsp dried oregano and thyme mix
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Store in an airtight container.
- I served it with white rice and with quinoa: both worked great.
- Use the rest of the creole seasoning for a quick and different weeknight dinner: sprinkle over rice or pasta, or as a rub for a steak.
Source: Closet Cooking.