Shrimp Etouffee! This classic Louisiana stew is made with shrimp, the Holy Trinity of onion, celery, and green pepper, and a simple roux to thicken it up. Serve it over rice for a true Cajun meal!
Even though I grew up in New Jersey and my mother is from New England, I still think Louisiana has the best food in America.
Every time I cook Cajun or Creole I’m in awe of the balance and strength in the cooking there; it’s one of the few places in the United States with a long-standing cuisine all its own.
This dish, étouffée, is one of that cuisine’s crown jewels.
What is Etouffee?
Étouffée basically means “smothered,” and it is a common cooking technique in the South; a fricassee is the same deal. You make a flavorful sauce and cook a meat or fish in it, not so long as a braise or stew, and not so short as a sauté.
Shrimp étouffée brings together all of the hallmarks of Louisiana cooking: Seafood (help our own shrimpers by making sure you use Gulf shrimp for your etouffee), a flour-and-oil roux, the “Holy Trinity” of onion, celery and green pepper, traditional Cajun seasoning and hot sauce.
The Etouffee Dispute
Debates rage over whether etouffee ought to have a roux in it, whether you can use more than one seafood (wouldn’t that be a gumbo, then?), and whether to use tomato or not. We went with a roux, one seafood, Tabasco, and no tomato. You can alter this recipe to suit your own preferences.
You’ll note the long prep time in this recipe—that is mostly for peeling the shrimp shells for the stock and then for simmering that stock. If you use canned or pre-made stock, your prep time will go down to about 20 minutes.
Want More Great Louisiana Recipes?
- Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
- Oyster Stew
- Slow Cooker Jambalaya
- Bread Pudding
- Chicken Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
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