Friday, December 26, 2008

Shrimp Étouffée

It's Christmas Eve (as I write this). Wow. Naturally, I'm not quite ready for the end of 2008. While I've seen and done a lot this year, I always feel like I've left opportunities on the table. New hobbies, a few personal to-dos, house organization, and naturally, some travel. On the other hand, we did manage to grab life by the kohonas and do some pretty cool things! Skied a world famous glacier in France, started a food blog, got some great biking in (Tour de France style - Tim, not me), visited with old friends and got to know some new friends, and finally made it to Berlin. We also had one very important, life changing accomplishment this year... our baby due in January. For that, and many more wonderful experiences, I will always appreciate and cherish 2008.

Since we are far away from family this year and are enjoying a very leisure and relaxing Christmas Eve, I have time to blog for Friday's post (after this, I will be wrapping Tim's presents). On such a special day, I feel like I should provide a special recipe.

Shrimp Étouffée is a recent discovery, and one that will be cooked for years to come! It's a powerhouse of flavors, and has nothing but goodness in it. Shrimp, vegetables, and rice. It sounds so simple, but is so wonderful.

Don't be deterred by the long list of ingredients (it's just a lot of spices, and you likely have almost everything in your kitchen), or the multi-step process. The prep and cooking go by very quickly, and every bit of effort is rewarded.

Wishing you and your family a glorious holiday!

Shrimp Étouffée
from Cooking Light

4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2/3 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (I used 1 red bell pepper only, to avoid waste)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt-free Cajun seasoning (Very important that it's salt-free, or you risk over-salting. You can always add more, but you can't take it back)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chopped green onions (I did not use any green onions, and turned out great)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided (I also didn't have parsley)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 30 shrimp)
4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Cover and remove from heat.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to pan; cook 8 minutes or until very brown, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup broth mixture to pan; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add remaining 3 cups broth mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth; set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter in a large Dutch oven (I used a large regular pot) coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups onion, celery, and bell peppers to pan; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in 3/4 cup water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper to onion mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add reserved broth-flour mixture and Worcestershire sauce to pan, stirring well to combine; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green onions, 1/4 cup parsley, and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice. Sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons remaining parsley, if desired.

More cajun inspired dishes:
- Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwich, from Nola Cuisine (this is definitely on my list to-make!)
- Fried Catfish and Hushpuppies, from Nola Cuisine
- Chickpea Gumbo, from FatFree Vegan Recipes
- Cajun Quiche in a Rice Crust, from Cooking Light (omit the sausage, or use a veggie substitute)

Guten appetit!


jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jamie said...

As one of the privileged taste testers for this dish, I can vouch for its excellence. I'm definitely adding this to my repertoire! YUM.

Chria said...

Amen! I just wanted to keep eating it all night, it was that good.