Shrimp and Andouille Etouffee


Shrimp & Andouille Etouffee 

From Cooking Light

Happy New Year!  As with every year, it feels like 2011 went too fast and I won’t remember to start saying 2012 until well into February.  But here we are, with the crazy holiday season behind us and months of beautifully unfilled calendars ahead.  Of course that can only mean one thing – New Year’s Resolutions!  Truly one of the silliest concepts, seeing as how they’re nearly always abandoned (I don’t think I made it 3 days in 2010 when I resolved to stop nagging John to propose…).  Yet every year I seem to come up with something, and this year is no different.

First and foremost, I’d like to advertise the blog a little more.  Nothing major, just a little Facebook hype or perhaps a Twitter account.  I was hesitant to publicize it at first in case I didn’t stick with it or it was a major flop, but being home for the holidays made me realize how many people are actually reading it!  And apparently enjoying it!  Our main PR team at the moment is our moms, and as it turns out their friends are big fans (thanks guys!).  In fact, we talked about the blog so much over the past week that I started to recognize a recurring theme which leads me to my second resolution: give more credit to the handsome half of the HMK.  Every time the blog came up, people complimented me and then John piped up to mention his involvement.  And it’s true, he really does a lot both in the kitchen and behind the scenes.  So I thought I’d take this moment to produce a short list of his many contributions:

  1. Cheese grating and nut shelling.
  2. Most meat trimming.
  3. Risotto stirring and other mundane and sweaty stove-top tasks.
  4. Running out to the store mid-recipe to get the ingredient we (I) inevitably forgot.
  5. Website editing and fixing.  (Please direct any comments/complaints to my one-man IT department).
  6. Grilling.  I don’t even know for sure how to work it.
  7. Bacon frying and other dangerous tasks with grease-fire potential.  And in the event of a grease-fire, I’m pretty sure he’d do the fire extinguishing too.
  8. Earning money to pay for grocery bills, which undoubtedly rival those of a family of 4.
  9. Stove cleaning (I claimed not to be strong enough to scrub the grease off and he pretended to believe me).
  10. All etouffee making.  Which brings us to today’s recipe.

If we were playing the newlywed game and I had to pick a cuisine John most enjoys cooking and eating, I’d feel pretty good about saying Cajun.  He’s made his fair share of gumbo and jambalaya, but this etouffee is by far his specialty.  It is truly one of the only dishes that I have nothing to do with.  It seems like he always makes it on nights when I have something keeping me busy until dinner time.  When we made it a few weeks ago I thought I’d finally have my chance to see the Cajun genius at work, but as luck would have it an out-of-town friend called to chat just as we were getting started and John got the kitchen to himself once again.  And so, it is with love and thanks (and only minor apprehension) that I turn the keyboard over to him for the first time so that the man who knows the recipe best can recite it for you.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups white onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cups celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped (between the onion, celery and peppers the mix is really up to you based on your preference – I seem to end up with about 4+ cups of chopped veggies)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 lb Andouille sausage cut into half-discs
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce, to taste
  • 4 cups long-grain rice, cooked and kept warm

Preparation

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Cover and remove from heat.  I always underestimate how long it takes to bring 4 cups of chicken broth to a simmer, start this right away use this step as a good time to chop the veggies.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.  Add flour to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Cook until the roux is somewhere between a milk chocolate and dark chocolate color (I prefer getting closer to a dark chocolate, a good dark roux really brings out the flavor in this dish.  Don’t be afraid to let it keep cooking [while continuing to stir], it can take a while to get that good dark color you’re looking for) and remove from heat.
  3. Add 1 cup of broth mixture to pan, stirring constantly with whisk until smooth.  Add remaining 3 cups of broth mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth, set aside.
  4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (I usually round up to 2 tbsps if i overdid it on the veggie chopping) in a large Dutch oven (and by large I mean large, I made this originally in our 4-qt Dutch oven and it nearly fills to the top.  With our new and improved 9-qt Dutch oven its the perfect amount of space [thank you wedding]) coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
  5. Add veggies (onions, celery and bell peppers) to pan, cook until veggies are tender and onion is golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in 3/4 cup of water, scraping pan to loosen delicious browned bits from the pan.
  7. Add tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, garlic, salt, black pepper and ground red pepper to onion mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  8. Add reserved broth-flour mixture and Worcestershire sauce to pan, stirring well to combine.  Add Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste.  Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Add green onions, shrimp and sausage; cook 3 minutes or until the shrimp are done.
  10. Time to play find the bay leaf and remove from the pan.
  11. Serve over rice.

Serves 6 generous portions.

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