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Shrimp Etouffee – Desperate Times Call for Delicious Measures

I won’t go into the sordid details of how I came into possession of substandard shrimp, but it did afford me the opportunity to demo a few tips in this shrimp etouffee video, just in case you ever find yourself in the same boat. 

I have absolutely no problem with frozen shrimp, which is a good thing, since that’s the only kind you can buy; but when making recipes like this, I prefer a larger size, and definitely with shells on.


Making a rich shrimp stock from the sautéed shells is one of the secrets to a great etouffee, but besides loss of flavor, I find smaller, already-peeled shrimp retain much more water, which leaks out when cooked; thinning and weakening every sauce in their wake.

A little sear can release a lot of this excess liquid, which can then be reduced in the sauce. This also makes the final moments of the dish pretty easy, as these small shrimp only take a few minutes to cook through. 

Of course, if you do buy some nice 16-20’s (jumbo-sized), go ahead and make the stock (see technique here), and give the shrimp a nice pan-sear first before finishing the recipe as shown. With Mardi Gras coming up soon, you have the perfect excuse to give this delicious recipe a try soon. Enjoy!



Makes 4 large portions:

Spice Blend (everything is “to taste”):
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp paprika

Then:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 pounds peeled and deveined raw shrimp, seasoned with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp of the spice blend
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup celery, sliced thin
1/3 cup diced green pepper, sweet or hot
remaining spice blend
2 generous tbsp flour
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock (including shrimp juices added in)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce to taste
salt to taste
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 portions cooked white rice

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