Shrimp Etouffee is wonderful! This is my Pacific Northwest version of the famous and classic New Orleans Shrimp Etouffee of shrimp and rice. The aroma of this dish as it cooks is so heavenly. The word etouffee (pronounced eh-too-fey) comes from the French word “to smother, stew, or braise.”
In some ways, this dish is similar to Gumbo, which is a classic Cajun, one-pot communal stew that is especially important around Mardi Gras. My husband gave this fantastic recipe a “10” rating. It seems that there are as many recipes for this dish as there are cooks who make it. My version is so easy that it is sure to become an instant classic for your family.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour, all-purpose
- 1 cup green onions, thinly-sliced
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
- 1/2 teaspoon basil, dried
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 white wine, dry
- 8 ounces clam juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, freshly-grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly-squeezed
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (can also use thawed frozen shrimp)
- Hot cooked rice
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter; stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Stir in green onions, chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and basil. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring often for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Increase heat to high and add tomato sauce, wine, clam juice, water, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper, and Tabasco; stirring, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes or until thickened and reduced to 4 1/2 cups. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and shrimp. Simmer approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are cooked.
NOTE: Shrimp should always be cooked quickly in order to preserve their sweet, delicate flavors. They are very quick to cook, and the flavor can easily be ruined by overcooking. Most shrimp cook in as little as 3 minutes - when they curl and turn pink, they are done. Properly cooked shrimp are firm with a gentle curve shape (like the letter "C").
Remove from heat and serve over hot cooked rice.
Comments from Readers:
I just reviewed some of your shrimp recipes and would argue that your Shrimp Etouffee recipe is more a Shrimp Creole than an etouffee. Many Cajuns finish the dish with a handful of chopped green onion tops and parsley. Generally speaking, Cajun/Creole dishes with tomatoes are Creole (aka New Orleans cuisine); similar dishes without tomatoes is usually Cajun. For example, Creole-style gumbos and jambalayas contain tomato or tomato products. Cajun gumbos and jambalayas are usually based on a dark brown roux sans tomatoes.
The classic etoufee (crawfish, shrimp, or crab) consists of only a few additional ingredients; Butter and flour for a roux, the trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper), garlic, and salt. The classic etouffee is crawfish etouffee. Try to find some frozen crawfish at your nearest mega-mart, and give it a try. Make sure it is Louisiana crawfish though; the imported Chinese product is really inferior.
I am looking forward to trying your shrimp etouffee as it sounds great. The addition of the herbs gives an etouffee another layer of flavor. Fresh shrimp are available here in New Iberia year round. The city is located near the gulf coast (the upper reach of Vermilion Bay) midway between New Orleans and Lake Charles, LA (pretty much the Texas state line). I really like your website and plan to visit it more often.
New Iberia, Louisiana