Whenever I’m in New Orleans, I always make sure to get my fix of gumbo and etouffee. Gumbo is more of a soup, whereas etouffee is more stew-like – a little more dry. Etouffee is traditionally served with boiled white rice.
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup minced onions
- 1 ¼ cup minced green bell peppers
- ¾ cup stalks celery, minced
- 2 jalapeños, minced (ribs and seeds removed), optional
- 6 scallions, sliced (keep greens separate)
- 12 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 ½ cups shrimp stock (or seafood stock/clam juice)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp Louisiana-style hot sauce
- 2 Tbsp cold butter
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- The key to any great etouffee is the roux, which you’ll make first. A roux is a 50/50 mixture of flour and oil. A word of warning: Hot roux can reach 500 degrees F. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN MAKING ROUX. If it splatters onto your skin, it’s like hot lava. Not fun. It’s not surprising it’s often called Cajun Napalm. So, I recommend using a long wooden spoon or spatula to stir the roux and using gloves to cover your hands and forearms, if possible. Heat the 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottom cast-iron pot or Dutch oven. Make sure the pot is very clean first. When the oil begins to smoke, add the flour and stir, stir, stir — constantly. The roux will begin to change color, at first turning yellow and then peanut butter color as it cooks. For this etouffee recipe you’ll want a roux that is deep peanut butter color.
- Carefully, to avoid splashing the hot roux, add the onion, celery, garlic, peppers, and the white parts of the scallions. Cook, over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes, stirring the mixture until the vegetables soften some.
- Add the shrimp stock, spices, hot sauce, bay leaves, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and allow the étouffée to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, stir and allow to continue to simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Turn off the heat, add the knob of butter and stir so it melts into the étouffée. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve warm over rice topped with green onions.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.