Mardi Gras is almost here and if Shrimp Étouffée isn’t on your menu, put it there! It’s a fantastic dish that everyone will rave over!
Shrimp Étouffée sounds like a very fancy dish, doesn’t it? One you might order in an upscale restaurant for $35 or more. But, really, it’s quite a simple dish that just about anyone can make at home. And, with Mardi Gras arriving in just over two weeks, it seemed appropriate to share my Shrimp Étouffée recipe with you.
This Shrimp Étouffée recipe is basically just onions, bell peppers and celery (known as the “Holy Trinity” of Cajun cooking) that’s added to a deep brown roux along with tomatoes and stock with a hefty dose of spices to bring all the flavors together. And, of course, shrimp! There are as many versions of étouffée as people who disagree on how it should be prepared; this is simply my version and the one I think is the best :)
This is one of those dishes where everyone will be making ooh’s and aah’s and mmm’s with each bite. It’s what happens every time I make it; even I am sighing with foodie happiness. My Shrimp Étouffée recipe is on the spicy side, but not so much that you’re constantly reaching for a glass of water. I’m usually muttering something like “my mouth is on fire” but it’s not an uncomfortable amount of heat, in fact it’s rather enjoyable because you know you’re eating come good ol’ Cajun cooking – I would be concerned if there wasn’t a fair amount of heat happening. Die-hards can add even more hot sauce if they prefer; I find the amount of spice here to be spot-on.
A few things to note:
- This Shrimp Étouffée recipe makes enough for 3-4 people. Because I’m cooking every day, I will often make the recipe as-is; you may want to consider doubling it just for the leftovers. It reheats nicely and you’ll be craving it!
- Shrimp Étouffée is a fantastic dish for a Mardi Gras get-together or any other dinner-type party you may be throwing. If you think you might serve this to guests (or any other rice dish) I highly suggest purchasing these inexpensive food rings to help you when plating the rice. It’s how I plated it for the photos and it’s just so easy and fun to do!
- You’re probably tired of me preaching to “buy your seafood frozen”, but it’s true! Most of us don’t have access to seafood that’s truly fresh (as in just caught and fresh off the boat; if you do, then of course buy it fresh). Almost ALL seafood is frozen when caught then shipped to the store for purchase. This means that the seafood you’re buying at the counter has already been frozen once – yet you have no idea when it was thawed and how long it’s been sitting in that seafood case.
- To thaw your shrimp, simply put it in a colander and run cold water over it, tossing the shrimp occasionally. I usually do this while I’m prepping the rest of the ingredients; by the time I’m done, my shrimp are thawed and ready to be peeled.