If you are new to Cajun cuisine than I highly recommend shrimp étouffée as the perfect start. It is neither too spicy or complicated to make and is sure to be as huge a hit in your home as it was in mine.
While I made mine with shrimp I believe that the traditional seafood used would be crawfish as it is plentiful in Louisiana. I have only ever had crawfish in China where they serve it steamed or boiled with Sichuan spices.
While it is delicious this way I always felt squeamish about breaking into each one to get to the meat (yet I have no problem eating lobster).
With étouffée I don’t have to worry about shelling the shrimp as only the meat is meant to be used. Crab or chicken can also be used if you prefer not to use shrimp.
Étouffée is a simple enough recipe consisting of a roux that it browned to give the overall dish a nutty, slightly sweet flavour that blend with the spices.
The finished dish is smooth, thick and creamy with a tangy spicy flavour. You will definitely be going back for seconds and scooping up every last bit of this dish.
Once you get your heads around the roux you will have the means to create the perfect dish that will impress all who you serve it too. Now you will be able to bring in a bit of New Orleans into your kitchen without having to travel there.
- 1 Pound whole shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 Cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 Cup water
- 4 Tbsp vegan butter
- ⅓ Cup gluten free flour
- 1 Tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tsp cayenne pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp hot sauce (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Can diced tomatoes
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 Stalk celery, diced
- 2 Bell peppers, diced
- 4 Cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ Cup green onions, chopped
- ¼ Cup parsley, chopped
- Cooked rice
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the flour until there are no lumps. Continue to heat roux over medium low heat until it turns a golden brown color (about 5-7 minutes). Whisk constantly to avoid burning.
- Add the spices and mix until fragrant. Next add the onion, celery, bell peppers, and garlic to the pan and stir for another minute.
- Stir in the stock and tomatoes (and hot sauce if wanted), and let the whole mixture simmer on low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add shrimp and green onions. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes or until shrimp are a nice overall pink colour.
- Garnish with the green parsley and serve over rice.