Sunday, May 10, 2015
Big, plump, tender shrimp are simmered in a tomato, onion, paprika, tarragon and cream mixture, laced with hot sauce, to make a luscious stew. Something spicy this way comes!
Wikipedia says: Étouffée or etouffee (pronounced: [e.tu.fe] ay-TOO-fay) is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. The dish employs a technique known as smothering, a popular method of cooking in the Cajun areas of southwest Louisiana. Etouffee is most popular in New Orleans and in the Acadiana area of the southernmost half of Louisiana as well as a popular dish in the coastal counties of Mississippi.
And now popular in the small, picturesque, lakeside berg of Peachland, B.C.
A couple of years ago Saveur magazine had this great feature article on the food of New Orleans. My jets were fired! Inspiration deliciously intact, I started tinkering and perfecting our version of etouffee. Since then, this spicy concoction has just become one of those things I make.
So yesterday when Forest Grump said he had a craving for some spicy etouffee, I said, "Me too!"
Minutes later I threw on one of my fave old movie soundtracks - The Big Easy - turned up the volume, and was off and cooking. And singing, with gusto, as I chopped, stirred, simmered and tootled about the kitchen.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Etouffee is really easy and fun to make. Try it, you'll see what I mean. Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-KO, I-KO, un-day
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SHRIMP ETOUFFEE - Serves 3-4
3 slices bacon, or pancetta, finely chopped
6 tablespoons butter
3 green onions, chopped
3 plump garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato or 2-3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound (16/20 count) peeled, deveined shrimp (or your favorite size)
1/3 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
Cooked white, sticky or Jasmine rice
**[If you like kick-ass spicy, just add one fresh jalapeno, finely chopped, and have your way with amping up the quantities of cayenne and freshly ground black pepper.]**
Heat bacon or pancetta in a large, rather high-sided, skillet over medium-high heat until rendered, about 3 minutes.
Add butter, green onions, celery, onions, tomatoes and peppers; cook until soft, 7 minutes.
Stir in tarragon, paprika, cayenne, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute. Stir in flour, cook 2-3 minutes, stirring.
Add stock, stirring, and bring to a boil, over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until reduced by one-third, about 12 minutes. (I often make the recipe, to this point, ahead of time. Then just before ready to serve, I continue.....)
(If you have made the veggie, stock mixture ahead of time, you may want to loosen it up a bit as you re-heat it, with a little extra chicken stock.)
Add shrimp to gently simmering mixture; cook and stir, flipping shrimp over, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in cream, hot sauce, Worcestershire and parsley. Serve with rice, more hot sauce, and some crusty bread for dipping in the sauce. Oh, cher!