By Rosie Hawthorne on May 18, 2020
Shrimp – quite the versatile little crustacean. One can boil it, steam it, bake it, grill it, fry it, sauté it. Or one can smother it, which is what etouffée means. Shrimp etouffée is a dish rooted in the history of New Orleans in which seafood is smothered in vegetables, in this case, the “Holy Trinity” of onion, celery, and bell pepper, along with a tomato-based sauce, resulting in a spicy and rich, aromatic, stew-like preparation served atop a bed of rice.
Now, I’m not getting into the Cajun vs Creole aspects of this dish or its original association with crawfish. I’m just making something good to eat with Louisiana flare using what I have on hand. And I always have shrimp on hand. It’s simply my version of a classic dish.
In addition, you’ll learn two valuable culinary techniques along the way – how to make a roux and how to make shrimp stock.
Rosie’s Shrimp Etouffée
10-12 oz. medium-sized shrimp, shelled and de-tracted (Save shells for stock!) You can use more, but when I freeze my shrimp, they’re usually packed in 10 ounce units.
And I say de-tracted, not de-veined, since that black line going down the back of the shrimp is the digestive tract, not a vein.
Spice mixture for shrimp:
For the stock:
When you peel your shrimp, place shells in a medium stock pot. Add in a coarsely chopped carrot, chopped celery with leaves, chopped onion with skins, a few smashed garlic cloves with skins, and a couple bay leaves. Cover with water. I used a little over a quart. Add in about a teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let bare-simmer for about 40 minutes. Strain out liquid and discard solids. You’ll have a little over 2 cups of stock. One cup of stock will be used for the etouffée and I’ve got a bonus recipe for the rest of the stock.
In medium pot, heat butter and oil over medium heat until butter is sizzling. Add in flour and cook, stirring, 6-8 minutes, until mixture turns dark blond. This is officially a roux.
Serve on a bed of white rice and top with chopped green onions, parsley, and optional shakes of Texas Pete hot sauce.
Serving suggestion: Obviously, I’m not a purist, but this was really good with some buttered and toasted cornbread slices to sop up all the goodness.
Now, after this flavorsome meal, I still have a cup or so of shrimp stock left in my fridge. We certainly wouldn’t want that to go to waste, so I‘m making a delectable and creamy shrimp and potato soup to take care of it.
Rosie’s Shrimp and Potato Soup
Chop up the bacon and place in a medium stock pot along with a tablespoon of butter and the diced potatoes. Cook over medium heat until bacon and potatoes are slightly browned. Drain out all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and reserve some of the bacon for toppings.
Add in the other tablespoon of butter along with the celery and onions. Cook, stirring, for a couple minutes, then add in the flour and cook, stirring, for at least a minute. You want to cook the raw taste out of the flour.
Slowly pour in the shrimp stock, stirring, allowing it to thicken. Then add in the tomato paste, sherry, and cream and stir until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low and add shrimp. Soup is ready when shrimp is just cooked through – about 3-4 minutes.
Taste-test and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Add more sherry or cream if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with reserved bacon, some minced red bell pepper, and chopped parsley. Serve with toast.
For more recipes, please visit with Rosie at www.KitchensAreMonkeyBusiness.com. For any culinary questions, feel free to e-me at RosieHawthorne@gmail.com. Bon appétit!