This Shrimp etouffee recipe is so good you will want to make it often. The heart of this dish is rooted in fine French cooking where using a rich sauce as a base along with fresh shrimp and simple ingredients creates a dish that is off the charts for flavor.
Down in Louisiana where the Cajuns live, delicious food is common place. There is a strong French heritage among south Louisiana natives and fine eating and great cooking is an important part of the culture. This Shrimp Etouffee recipe combines fresh local seafood with centuries old cooking techniques resulting in a unique dish that simply defines south Louisiana and New Orleans dining at it's best.
Like gumbo, etouffee is one of the most beloved dishes and it is served in homes and restaurants throughout bayou country on a regular basis. This recipe is easy to make, can be prepared in advance and will freeze well for long periods.
The recipe calls for 3 cups of water or stock. I always recommend using home made stock in gumbo to boost and elevate the flavor, so I suggest doing the same here. A chicken stock or seafood stock is easy to prepare and will make your dish much more flavorful. But even if you choose to go the water route, this recipe will be outstanding.
This recipe is best when made in a cast iron pot such as a dutch oven.
Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
2 pounds shrimp tails peeled and deveined
1 cup oil
3/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cup onions chopped
1/4 cup celery chopped
2/3 cup green pepper chopped
1/3 cup finely minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
6 ounce tomato paste
1 can chicken broth (15 ounce or something close)
3 cups chicken stock (or plain water can be used with good results)
2 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1teaspoon fancy paprika
1 teaspoon TABASCO sauce
In a dutch oven make a roux by stirring the oil and flour together and brown to the color of peanut butter. Do not brown to dark color as you would with gumbo. Add onions, celery, garlic and green pepper, saute for 5 minutes.
In another skillet melt butter and add tomato paste. Saute until this is smooth and thick stirring often. This will take about 5 minutes. Mix with the roux.
Pour in stock (or water depending on what you decide to use) and the can of chicken broth, along with melted bouillon cubes and all seasonings. Cook for 30 minutes.
Add shrimp tails and cook for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with rice, toasted French bread and a fresh salad for a wonderful meal.