One night, my dad and I made shrimp etouffee. We had so much fun! Here is the recipe (which comes from my dad’s cookbook, The Best of New Orleans, by Brooke Dojny) and how we made it:
For the Roux:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 TBS flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped (or 3 tsp crushed garlic from a jar)
2 cups bottled clam juice
1 tsp dried basil
1tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (One of my favorite spices!)
1/2 tsp salt
For the Shrimp:
6 TBS butter
8 green onions, thinly sliced (white and tender green parts)
2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
3 cups hot cooked white rice
Me Chopping Celery (Carefully!)
First, before my dad came home from work, I chopped up the celery and green onions, and I seeded and chopped a large bell pepper, all with an extremely sharp knife. (I had to make sure I was really careful, because knives are sharp and dangerous. You have to know what you are doing before picking up a sharp knife. If you are a kid, make sure an adult gives you permission and is watching you.) My mom (who doesn’t like to cook that much) tailed the medium shrimp. Soon, my dad came home and said, “Those are wonderfully cut, Meg!” Then we started the roux. (My daddy tells me that a roux is a base that is added to other sauces to thicken them.)
In our big red Dutch oven, we heated the vegetable oil over medium heat for one minute. Then we added 6 tablespoons of flour to the heated oil. We turned the burner to medium-high and stirred constantly until the roux turned brownish. (The recipe says to continue this until the roux is a “rich mahogany color”.) If you try to make this, which you should, watch the roux carefully to prevent burning.
Stirring the Vegetables Into the Roux
Then we added the onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic, and we cooked it, stirring frequently, until the vegetables began to soften. We whisked in the clam juice, and brought it to a boil. We then cooked it, stirring constantly, for one minute. Time for more adding: Dad and I stirred in the basil, thyme, cayenne, and salt, and reduced the heat to low. We cooked the sauce with the lid on for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stirring the Sauce
Time to prepare the shrimp! In one of our large, heavy skillets, we melted half of the butter (3 tablespoons) over medium heat. We added the green onions and shimp, and we cooked it for about three minutes, until the shimp turned pink. We then stirred in the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.
Starting the Shrimp (Yum!)
Finally, we added the shrimp mixture to the roux and vegetables.
Mixing the Final Creation!
We cut the remaining tablespoons of butter into small pieces. We lowered the heat to very low and added the butter pieces, one at a time, to the etouffee, stirring well after adding each piece. (The recipe says that the object is to produce a creamy texture.) Last, we stirred in the parsley and hot pepper sauce, and it was done!
We served it over rice. The recipe said it serves six, but my family of four gobbled it all up! It was so good, and we hope you try this recipe too, even if you can’t finish it!
A Satisfied Customer! (My Sister Tabitha Loved It!)
My favorite part of the night was finally eating my creation. It made up for the hard work (not to mention cutting with a scary big knife). Again, be careful with it! This was such a fun experience that I hope you can try too.