Quick and Easy Shrimp Étouffée
Étouffée is a spicy gravy that consists of sauteed shrimp and vegetables that is traditionally served over rice. This Quick and Easy Shrimp Étouffée is my version of the New Orleans classic. The inspiration for this dish came from The Warehouse in Alexandria, Virginia. I had a dish of fried catfish smothered in shrimp and crawfish étouffée. The fish was fried perfectly, but the étouffée was a little bland for my tastes. My version of shrimp étouffée is a little spicier and has more of a deep seafood flavor. Whether you smother some fried catfish, or serve over rice, this shrimp étouffée is quick, easy, and delicious.
This dish starts with a roux, which is just equal parts flour and oil cooked together in order to thicken a sauce. There are a couple of things to remember when making a roux. First, keep it moving, a roux can burn easily if you let it sit too long. Second, there is no reason to rush, keep the heat fairly low and you’ll have more control over the final product. Lastly, use a silicone spatula to stir. Silicone spatulas are flexible to get into the corners of any pot, and heatproof. It is the best tool for the job.
Shrimp étouffée can be as spicy or as mild as you want it to be. If you like it spicy, use cayenne where you would usually use black pepper. If you like it really spicy add a diced jalapeno in with the diced onion, celery, and green pepper.
2 lbs. of peeled and deveined shrimp
1 onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 Tbsps. of Cajun seasoning (recipe follows)
2 cups of shrimp stock (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste (you can substitute cayenne for black pepper for extra spice)
Scallions and parsley for garnish.
For the Shrimp Stock
The shells from 2 lbs. of shrimp
1 rib of celery
The top and bottom of the green pepper used in the main dish
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
3 bay leaves
2 quarts of water
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 tsps of smoked paprika
2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
- Season the shrimp with a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning and refrigerate.
- To make the shrimp stock, put all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. After 45 minutes, strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Measure out 2 cups of stock, and reserve the rest for another use (maybe a risotto).
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour into the oil, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook the roux until it is golden brown and smells nutty(10-15 minutes). Add the onion, celery, and green pepper season with salt and pepper and saute until softened, about 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Slowly add the 2 cups of shrimp stock, stirring to combine with the roux. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, and stir in the shrimp. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally until just cooked through. Serve over rice and garnish with parsley and scallions.