Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shrimp Etouffee

This recipe is inspired by New Orleans, one of my favorite cities.  I love NOLA, and not just because of the Quarter and the alcohol and the endless party (which I do love), but because of the music and the architecture and the history and the culture and the people unlike any other in the world.  Oh, and the food!   
Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Servings: 4-6 (depends on your appetite)
Time:    Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 40-50 minutes
Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a bowl with a lid, a large heavy bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a whisk, a wooden spoon

  • 1 ½ pounds shrimp (cleaned)
  • 2 tablespoons Creole Seasonings (I like Zatarain’s)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • ½ cup bell pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups liquid (water, chicken stock, shrimp stock)
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • S & P

3 cups of white rice, 3 stalks of green onion sliced thin, hot sauce
  1. Toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the Zatarain’s. Put this into the fridge ‘til needed.
  2. Clean and dice the veggies.  Set aside.
  3. Place the oil in the skillet on medium and whisk in the flour. You are now making a roux.  Whisk continuously until the roux is the color of caramel.  This should take five minutes or so. 
  4. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and bell pepper.   Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Stir in the rest of the Creole Seasoning.
  6. Turn the heat up to medium high.
  7. Gradually add the liquid to the roux, whisking continuously. Make sure that the roux is boiling the whole time.
  8. Add the bay leaves.   
  9. Reduce the roux to a simmer.
  10. Cook until the roux has the consistency of paste and is darker, almost the color of peanut butter. This should take 20-30 minutes. Stir often.
  11. Add the thyme, oregano, parsley, and shrimp. Cook for another 7-10 minutes or until the shrimp is done.
  12. Remove the bay leaves and S&P to taste.  Serve hot.
Serve over rice garnished with thin slices of green onion. Offer your guests hot sauce.

Jackson Square, New Oleans, LA

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