Étouffée of any variety is a given this time of year. Whether you choose shrimp, crawfish, langostino or even chicken and sausage, you can’t go wrong with this New Orleans classic. There are endless variations of this dish. If you’ve been intimidated in the past to make this, let me assure you, it is much less daunting than you might think. It is absolutely full of flavor and with “Fat Tuesday” right around the corner, there’s no time like the present!
New Orleans holds a special place in my heart, it’s where we got engaged. It was also our first “real” vacation together, I’d say it worked out pretty well. Somehow, we lucked out and happened to be there during restaurant week. The universe was sending me a sign. It wanted me to eat All The Things and who am I to deny the universe? Eat I Did. With shocking voracity, I might add. Here’s the thing about New Orleans – other than NYC, I have never been in such a food-centric city. It got me right in the heart. And the stomach… and definitely the hips, but that’s a story for another day. Everywhere I looked, there was something delicious. From beignets to étouffée to po’boys and that’s just the first 5 minutes.
While a trip to New Orleans is hopefully in the near future, this meal will transport me to that trip and all the wonderful memories made in that amazing city. Like New York, New Orleans has a heartbeat. There is an energy that is palpable. We loved every minute of every day. I wrote about it, you can read that post and see some of the photos I took on our trip here. Now, let’s get into the kitchen…
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 sprigs fresh)
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cups shrimp stock (or seafood stock - homemade or store bought)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds langostinos
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- *Splash of white wine (optional)
- White rice, cooked
- 2 pounds shrimp shells
- 1 onion
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 carrot
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cups water
- In a Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot, melt butter over medium - medium high heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. (This is a roux). Continue cooking the roux for 10-12 minutes, whisking almost continuously, until it is a light brown color.
- Lower heat to medium and add garlic, onion, celery, pepper, bay leaves and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently for 8 - 10 minutes, until vegetables have started to soften. Add stock, tomatoes, wine (if using), salt, pepper, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add langostinos, lemon juice, scallions and parsley. Stir to combine, let it simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over white rice.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot, add shrimp shells and sauté for 5 minutes. Add everything except water and give it a stir. Let it cook for another 4 - 5 minutes, then cover with the water and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and cool. Freeze remaining stock for future deliciousness.
- • I added a splash of white wine with the stock. You don't have to, but if you have it and feel a little sassy, a splash is all you need.
- • Roux = equal parts fat and flour by WEIGHT. The longer a roux cooks, the less thickening power it has, but it develops more flavor, which is what we want. For this roux, we are aiming for more than a blond roux, but not past a brown roux. It should be similar to the color of peanut butter.
- • I have seen a few recipes calling for creole or cajun spice. If you read the ingredient list, it is salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne and red pepper flakes. You likely have all of these ingredients in your pantry, don't waste your money.
- • Onions, celery and bell pepper are the "holy trinity". They are the base for many dishes in this part of the country. Like mirepoix is the French cooking (onion, celery, carrots), also the base to almost every single soup!
- • Buying the seafood stock will cut your prep time by 30 minutes
MORE SEAFOOD RECIPES:
USED IN THIS RECIPE:
- My favorite pot – it is worth every penny (yes, it’s a lot of pennies)