“Etouffée” means “smothered,” and that’s the idea. It’s not a long-cooked stew. – Tom Fitzmorris
When the onions are ready, add the following ingredients and cook for about five minutes.
- 1 diced celery stalk
- 1/2 bell pepper – whichever color you may have on hand
- 3 cloves of garlic – depending on the size
- Leaves from three sprigs of thyme
- 1.5 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
At this time, you are ready to add 2 1/2 cups of liquid into your pot and a small peeled and chopped tomato. This is the only point in the recipe where I disagree with Mr. Besh. His original recipe calls for one quart of shellfish stock. My secondary source, Emeril Lagasse’s recipe calls for one quart of stock as well – for double the amount of roux and thrice the seafood. Etouffée is supposed to be like a gravy. By following the recipe ‘to a T’ the first time, I got a pretty tasty shrimp gumbo. Ideally, you would have shrimp or seafood stock on hand, but since my freezer bag of shrimp tails is nowhere near full at this point I bought a seafood base to create a broth. Clam juice is an acceptable substitute too.
After the sauce has come to a boil, reduce and simmer for five to seven minutes, making sure that nothing sticks (and burns!) to the bottom of your pan. Reduce the heat to low and add:
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 to 1.5 pounds of cleaned, deveined shrimp (save the tails and shells for stock)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dashes of Louisiana-style hot sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Once the shrimp are cooked thoroughly, serve with long grain white rice. The recipe yields at least four generous portions, and the leftovers are awesome.