Shrimp Etouffée

Shrimp Etouffée

Shrimp Etouffée

When most people hear the word etouffée, their minds immediately jump to crawfish. That’s fair, considering this method of cooking is made most frequently with crawfish. But other shellfish, poultry and wild game can also be cooked successfully in this fashion. After all, etouffée is nothing more than a fancy word for smothered. Well, smothered South Louisiana-style. And by now you all know what that means–cooked in a deeply flavored sauce that’s made with a roux, the Holy Trinity, a small amount of homemade stock and a delectable combination of spices. When broken down this way, it’s easy to understand the versatility of this style of cooking, why it has stood the test of time and how etouffée has found its way from the humble country kitchen table to the international culinary stage.

Crawfish Etouffée will always be a mainstay in my household. But this shrimp version is a nice departure and one that’s probably better suited for most folks outside of Louisiana since shrimp have a longer season and are easier to find than crawfish. In the past, I’ve also whipped up satisfying pots of Chicken Etouffée and Duck Etouffée–great options for those who don’t like or are allergic to seafood. Once I find my notes, I’ll test those recipes one last time and pass them on to you too.

Here’s hoping everyone finds their favorite way to “etouffée.”

Shrimp Etouffée Recipe

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Seasoning Mix
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups seafood stock
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon filé powder
Baked Rice, for serving

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix. Place shrimp in a large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon seasoning mix; cover and refrigerate (at least 15 minutes or overnight). Set aside remaining seasoning mix. In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), make a roux by heating the oil over high heat until it begins to smoke. Gradually add the flour, whisking carefully and vigorously after each addition until smooth. Continue whisking until the roux is the color of peanut butter. Add onions, celery and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more. Remove roux from heat. In a large separate saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the stock to a boil. Gradually add the roux mixture to the boiling stock, whisking after each addition until dissolved. Return to a boil, stirring often, until sauce begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and add reserved seasoning mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. The dish can be made up to this point and kept warm until ready to serve. Ten minutes before serving, add seasoned shrimp, green onions, butter and filé powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are cooked through, 7-10 minutes. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve over Baked Rice with plenty of French bread and hot sauce options. Makes 6-8 servings.


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2 Responses
  1. Harry Mills says:

    Is there anyway to use other vegetables other than the onion, bell pepper and celery? I despise these and do not like their flavors at all…

    • Genet says:

      Sorry Harry, but no. The true essence of this–and many other traditional South Louisiana recipes–would be lost if this “Holy Trinity” of seasoning vegetables was abandoned or manipulated.

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