Shrimp Étouffée is Classic New Orleans at its best. It’s perfect for Mardi Gras with spicy shrimp cooked in a delicious roux based sauce. This is an update from a post on February 26, 2016.
I was close to the local fish market earlier today, and decided to get some shrimp if they looked fresh. As it happened, they looked excellent, so I bought two pounds of 16-20 head-on shrimp (I generally buy the head-on shrimp because I think that they tend to be fresher)
I asked the Master Taste Tester whether he would prefer Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Creole or Shrimp Étouffée. As you can probably guess, his choice was the Shrimp Étouffée! I had actually planned on making Shrimp Étouffée during Mardi Gras season, but the time got away from me. Étouffée is a roux based dish served over rice, and is found in both Cajun and Creole cuisines. It’s made with the “trinity” and is typically finished off with either crawfish or shrimp.
I used the following ingredients for the Shrimp Étouffée: Unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, petit diced tomatoes, salt, Creole or Cajun seasoning, chicken stock, shrimp, parsley, and sliced green onion tops for garnish. For the Creole seasoning, I used Emeril’s Essence. Also, I used a combination of green, yellow, and red bell peppers since that’s what I had on hand.
Cleaning the Shrimp:
The most time-consuming part of making the Shrimp Étouffée was cleaning the shrimp, i.e., removing the heads, peeling the shrimp, and deveining them. Anyone who thinks that deveining the shrimp is unnecessary, must have never actually seen how gross the vein can be! The fresher the shrimp, the easier it is to remove the vein. I actually remove not only the vein on the top of the shrimp, but also the much smaller vein on the bottom. Out of the two pounds that I started with, I ended up with just under 14 ounces of cleaned shrimp.
Making the Shrimp Étouffée:
The second most time-consuming part of making the Shrimp Étouffée is cutting up the vegetables. However once everything is cut up, the dish comes together pretty easily. I started by making a butter and flour roux in a Dutch oven. I cooked it over medium heat until the roux about the color of peanut butter. This took around 5 minutes.
Then I added the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the roux. I cooked the mixture for about 10 minutes. During this time, I stirred the mixture often with my roux paddle. After 10 minutes, I added the tomatoes, salt, and Creole seasoning, and cooked the tomatoes for several minutes. Then, I added the chicken stock, and brought the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until it was thickened. I reduced the heat to low, and simmered the Étouffée uncovered for 45 minutes until the vegetables were tender. During this time, I stirred the mixture occasionally. When the vegetables were tender, I increased the heat to medium and added the shrimp. I cooked the shrimp for about 5 minutes until they were cooked through.
Finally, I added some minced parsley, and stirred to ensure that everything was well combined.
I served the Shrimp Étouffée with white rice and a freshly baked baguette. Yum!
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped bell peppers
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup petit diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 pounds large head-on shrimp 16 to 20 count per pound, peeled and deveined (about 14 ounces cleaned)
- 2 Tablespoons minced parsley leaves
- Cooked white rice for serving
- 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops for garnish
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously to make a roux. Stir the roux over medium heat until the color of peanut butter, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the roux, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes along with the salt and Creole seasoning. Cook the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk in the chicken stock.
- Bring the mixture to a boil stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce heat to low; simmer the Étouffée uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Can be made in advance up to this point.
- Heat Étouffée over medium heat; add the shrimp, stirring to evenly distribute. Cook the shrimp for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Add the chopped parsley and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately over cooked white rice; garnish with sliced green onion tops. Yield: 4 to 6 servings