Happy Fat Tuesday! Well, if you haven’t heard, Mardi Gras is pretty much off this year due to the pandemic, and reasonably so. However, that hasn’t stopped the locals from decorating their houses in Mardi Gras float fashion with statues, banners and beads in the traditionally colors of purple, green and gold symbolizing justice, faith and power. It’s a day of indulgence before Lent begins tomorrow and here at home, I thought it would be fun to celebrate this festive day with a traditional dish from New Orleans.
Shrimp Etouffee is a French Creole dish made with a roux, a combination of butter and flour. The roux is cooked down until caramel brown colored and a holy trinity, comprised of onions, celery and bell peppers are added to create the base of the dish. This classic meal is fairly simple to make with store-bought ingredients, and usually served over hot rice. I used frozen to shrimp this time around because I think the quality is just as good as fresh, and I happen to have a bag in my freezer.
A simple creole spice mix gives this recipe personality and is made with dried herbs, things you probably already have in your kitchen, along with a dash or two of hot sauce. Adding some heat gives this Etouffee traditional taste, and will bring you straight back to those visits to Bourbon Street, when you may have had a hurricane, or two too many. So dig out that strand of beads lying around in your closet, and dress-the-part, which will set the proper mood for this meal.
Creole Spice Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (I used orange)
1/2 cup celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounces canned diced tomatoes
1 1/3 cups chicken broth
1 pound large shelled shrimp, frozen or fresh
a few dashes of hot sauce + more for serving
scallions, for garnish
fresh parsley, for garnish
hot rice for serving
- Mix spices together in a small bowl, set aside. In a large skillet, add butter and place over medium heat. After butter has melted, sprinkle in flour, whisk. Turn heat to low and stir until roux is light caramel brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add onions, bell pepper and celery, stir. Turn heat back to medium, and sauté vegetables in roux for 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and creole spice mixture, and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and chicken broth, stir to combine. Add frozen shrimp and place lid on pan and cook for 3 minutes. Remove lid and let sauce reduce for 4 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Add hot sauce, and stir. Ladle over a hot rice in bowls and top with scallions and parsley, if desired. Don’t forget the hot sauce. Enjoy!