Wow, am I ever excited to share this recipe with you guys today!
To do it properly though, I had to bring in some help because this was the first time I ever made étouffée, myself. So, this recipe comes with love to all you today straight from Adam’s mom, who learned how to make it from his 100% Cajun great grandma. When I was visiting Adam’s family in Texas over Christmas this past year, Nancy (his mom) made it for me and I couldn’t get enough! It’s thick and delicious with just the perfect amount of spicy kick. She made it with crawfish, of course, but I made this version with shrimp because after searching high and low, I just can’t find crawfish anywhere in the Bay Area.
When I asked Nancy if she minded sending me the recipe so I could make and post it on the blog during Mardis Gras, she re-made it herself just so that she could get the exact measurements right. She told me that whenever she walked into Adam’s great grandma’s house (no matter what time of day!), she was always greeted with the aroma of celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic cooking on the stove. She always kept an extra supply of seafood in the freezer to make this étouffée spur of the moment whenever company showed up.
Nancy also said that “the best way to wake Adam up for church on Sunday was to get that blend of onions and bell peppers going on the stove so he’d know there would be a great lunch waiting for us when we got home”. I’ll have to remember that one.
The key to making this is to assemble everything beforehand and have it all right next to you at the stove. It’s not difficult or time consuming, but the process moves very fast once you get started!
After you prepare all your vegetables and have everything next to you ready to go, make the roux.
Melt the butter in a heavy pot and then sprinkle over with flour. Stir until it takes on the color of peanut butter and smells nutty and delicious.
Add the vegetables to the bubbling roux and cook until they begin to soften and wilt.
(Side note: Celery, onions and bell peppers form the Cajun “trinity” and make up the base of most Cajun meals)
Once the veggies have softened, add the diced tomatoes and chilies (Rotel!). It’ll get super thick.
Then, pour in the seafood stock! Nancy said to use about two cups, but I used more…closer to three cups. You want the étouffée to be thick, but not ridiculously thick—-think of it like a thick pasta sauce.
Now add your spices! Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Louisiana hot sauce. Bring to a boil and stir.
Finally, add the shrimp (or crawfish). Reduce heat to low and simmer until seafood is done.
Serve your étouffée with extra hot sauce! I like my étouffée served over white rice but Adam loves his spooned over mashed potatoes! Just try it.
2 lbs raw, deveined shrimp (tails off) OR 3 lbs crawfish tails if you can find them!
2 sticks butter
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 heaping cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 14-5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel or other brand)
2 – 3 cups seafood stock
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tsp Louisiana hot sauce (I love Crystal hot sauce)
Assemble all ingredients before starting to cook!
Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium/high heat. Once melted and bubbling, sprinkle the flour over top and mix with a rubber spatula until a smooth paste forms. If your paste is very thin, add a little bit more flour. Keep stirring and cooking over medium heat until roux turns the color of peanut butter. It will smell nutty and delicious.
Add the chopped onions, celery, green onions, bell pepper, garlic and parsley to the hot roux. Cook the vegetables until they soften—about three to five minutes. Stir continuously.
Add the diced tomatoes and chilies along with seafood stock. Add additional stock if mixture looks too thick (I added extra). It should be thick, but be a sauce-like or stew-like consistency. Mix well so there are no lumps.
Add cayenne, Tony Chachere’s, Louisiana hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil and slide in shrimp. Reduce heat to low and simmer until shrimp are done, about 15 minutes.
Serve Étouffée with rice, mashed potatoes and/or crusty rolls for dipping with extra Louisiana hot sauce on the side!
1 hour (includes time to prep all ingredients)