By now you should know the drill here. Someone in San Francisco asks me to make them a Cajun or Creole dish, I cook it for them, name it after them, and then write it up here. So, here’s the next installment: Stephanie’s Shrimp Étouffée. First up, the pronunciation — it’s AY-two-FAY….not eh-two-fay. AY (like the letter) – two (like the number) – FAY (rhymes with hay). Now, Stephanie asked me to cook for her one night (actually, she demanded “COOK ME DINNER MAN!”) so I dusted off an old recipe. I prefer to cook this with crawfish, but you can’t really get crawfish in San Francisco. Definitely not like you can in New Orleans (1lb bags of tail meat). So this dish uses shrimp as alternative; it’s OK but not quite the same. Also, I add more butter at the end as a substitute to the crawfish fat that comes in the bags of tail meat. If you use crawfish, nix the final butter addition.
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (Vidalia > Mayan)
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (red or green)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup general purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes. Either Rotel canned w/chiles or freshly diced.
  • 1 1/2 cups of shrimp stock
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green onions
  • 6-8 sprigs of thyme
  • Bunch of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons of Tony Cachere’s creole seasoning (or substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestshire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Crystal hot sauce
  • 1-2 pounds of peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice
  • salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste (I do 1/2 teaspoon each)
I mention some specifc brands and types of ingredients, but feel free to substitute with what you have on hand. You don’t have to go out and find Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning to make the dish, but it will taste better if you do. Also, feel free to lighten up on the shrimp or crawfish if your budget or diet dictates. Cutting down on the shrimp is the easiest way to cut cost on this dish. In San Francisco, we have mediocre, imported 26-28 count shrimp at a price of $15/lb. In New Orleans, we’d have local shrimp at $7.50/lb for that count. Seafood in San Francisco is frickin terrible, but that’s the subject of another blog post…

For the shrimp stock, you can use the store-bought kind or make your own. Making your own is easy and is a good use of all those shrimp shells. I like this guy’s recipe here. I make a big batch of it, then freeze it in 1.5 cup plastic containers.
  1. Chop up the parsley (about 2-3 tablespoons worth) and add it to a plastic bag with 1 tablespoon of Tony’s and the shrimp. Close/zip the bag and mix the ingredients thoroughly. It’s basically a dry rub with some parsley flavoring. Put it aside in the fridge while you cook everything else.
  2. Prepare your trinity: Chop up the celery, onions, and bell peppers. Combine them in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix your tomatoes, green onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, Crystal, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Doesn’t have to be mixed well but lightly mix and then put in the fridge.
  4. Done with prep work, now melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a 3-5 quart cast iron skillet or dutch oven.
  5. After the butter gets frothy, add the trinity to the pot and saute until the onions are translucent (med-med/high heat).
  6. Slowly add the flour to the pot and mix very well. You’re making a blonde roux here, which is different than the other roux’s in my recipes. This one won’t take long at all and is a very different consistency.
  7. After about 5 minutes, your blonde roux should be done. Not dark, but caramel colored. Slowly add the shrimp stock and 1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning. You’re going for a thick paste here, so don’t dump it all in at once. Add a little, smooth out the clumps, then repeat.
  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer on low heat.
  9. Add the tomato, garlic, etc mixture to the pot. Mix well.
  10. Simmer for a half hour. Salt to taste while simmering.
  11. Add the shrimp and parsley mixture (or crawfish) and simmer on low-med heat for about 10 more minutes. How long depends on shrimp size, but be careful not to overcook them! I cook to the touch so I’m not an expert on time.
  12. Remove from heat and add another 2 tablespoons of butter if you’re not using crawfish. If you’re using crawfish, skip the butter. The butter will melt even after removing the pot from the heat. Mix carefully with a spoon then serve over hot basmati rice.
Serves 3-4 people or 2 hungry Cajuns who just returned home from the rig.

I didn’t take pictures as I went this time, but I did manage to get some shots of the final product. This is what things should look like at the end:


09/10/2011 03:59

When r u going to kook 4 me? And do you get revenue sharing with the ads on this page?

09/10/2011 14:04

Rez, Stephanie and I were just talking today about how we haven't seen you and Sarah in a while. So yeah we can cook up some food one day at your place. Also, we want to use your deep fryer to make beignets.

I do get a cut of the ad revenue. I think I've made 2 cents so far. ;)

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