Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In My Kitchen: Shrimp Etouffee

Last week, I told you about my efforts to learn to love cooking again. Thanks for all the recipes that have come my way--please continue to share with me! I can already sense that there will be some seriously good eats coming out of my kitchen this year.

There are two reasons I chose Shrimp Etouffee from the cookbook Beyond Grits and Gravy: The South's All-Time Favorite Recipes (Best of the Best Cookbook Series).* First, I've always regretted not traveling to New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. I still hope to make it there someday, but I would have loved to experience the city before it was changed forever by that tragic event. I thought an etouffee dish would be a great culinary symbol of a city that has always fascinated me. Second, one of the outings that my family misses most since moving away from Indianapolis is Saturday lunches at Yats. It's a great spot for cajun food, and their downtown location was just a 5-minute walk from our old house. It's the type of place that serves just a handful of dishes each day, posted on the chalkboard as you enter. Every dish is $5.75, simple as that. I always ordered whatever etouffee dish they were serving up that day. Oh, how we miss having Yats so near. (Fortunately we don't live too far away, so we still have it from time to time.)

I tweaked the recipe just a bit, so what I'm posting below reflects how I prepared the dish, not exactly what you'll find in the cookbook.

A Tip for Moms: I did all the prep work (chopping,
measuring, etc.) while the arrow was napping.
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 c chopped celery
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 stick butter
2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 c chicken broth
3 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 c cold water
3 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tsp tomato paste
As much cooked rice as you'd like to serve with it, prepared as directed

In a large skillet (I used a wok), cook green onions, onion, bell pepper, and celery until soft in olive oil and butter. Add shrimp, cook 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and thicken with cornstarch in water. Add Worcestershire and tomato paste. Cook 5 minutes. Serve over cooked rice.

On the stove.
On my plate.
We loved this recipe, and I'm confident I'll make it again. It was quick, easy and much healthier than the etouffee I get at Yats (although not quite as good!). Prepared as you see above, it's almost like a stir fry, but a nice change of pace from the soy/teriyaki sauces I usually use. We did find it a little bland (my husband and I both added a little hot sauce), so I'd like to add some more seasoning next time. Probably some fresh garlic and cajun spices. I might not use 2 lbs of shrimp next time either. One pound would have been plenty, and would make this a cheaper meal.

One other note, if you make this: pick up some tortillas at the store along with the other ingredients you need. There will be a lot leftover, and I had it for lunch the next day as a wrap with some melted cheese on top. Delicious!

*Amazon affiliate link. I've already discovered another benefit of this project. This cookbook has been sitting in my cabinet for years, but I had never made anything from it. What a shame!

This post is a part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick.