Fat Tuesday Etoufee and Creole Seasoning!!!

Happy Fat Tuesday Everyone!

Mardi Gras has begun and the week long celebration in New Orleans represents total debauchery before the holy time of lent leading up to Easter. I have been to New Orleans and let me tell you this place is rockin' on any given Tuesday night, let alone Fat Tuesday. The music plays out of every bar and venue, the drinks are poured with a loose hand, the people love to smile and share and the food is second to none. This recipe for Shrimp Etouffee was inspired by Chef Emeril Lagasse who I had the pleasure to work with a couple of your ago. I worked with the chef while he was filming his show "Emeril Green" at a Whole Foods Market in Virginia. He was gracious to everyone he met and a real professional. As an aspiring TV host he was great example of how it's done. I even got several on air opportunities with him, which was a dream come true.

Back to the food, the word "Etouffee" actually means "to smother" and is generally a thick, spiced gravy with shellfish and served over rice. As with most Louisiana cuisine this recipe has been influenced by the French, Spanish, Native American and West Indian Cultures. If you are thinking of making this at home, you need to give yourself some time, trust me it is definitely worth it. Below is a great recipe for etouffee as well as a dry Creole spice mix that can be used in gumbos and to spice chicken, pork, beef and fish.

Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

Emeril's Shrimp Étouffée

  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 C All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 C Onions, chopped
  • 2 C Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 2 C Celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) Canned Tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Creole Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 qt. Seafood Stock
  • 3 lbs. Medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 C Parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C Green Onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • Steamed white rice, for serving
  • First you have to make a roux. This is a mixture of fat and flower that helps to thicken, flavor and add color to the dish. Take your time with this step because it is the base for the whole dish. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium/low heat. Add the flour and stir continuously over medium/low heat until the roux is the color of peanut butter, about 25-30 minutes.

    Next, add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic to the roux, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pot and season with the bay leaves, salt, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of the Essence. Cook the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk in the cold shrimp stock.

    Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a low simmer. Cook the etouffee, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Season the shrimp with the remaining tablespoon of the seasoning mixture and add them to the pot, stirring to evenly distribute. Cook the shrimp for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are curled up and cooked through. Add the chopped parsley to the pot and stir to combine.

    Serve immediately over steamed white rice and garnish with sliced green onion tops.

    Creole Seasoning

  • 2.5 tbsp. Paprika
  • 2 tbsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Thyme
  • Place the ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. Store the seasoning in an airtight container.


    Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.

    Aaron 2/21/12 - 4:44 PM
    any suggestions on how to make the seafood stock or should I just buy it at a store? Where do they sell seafood stock... I've only seen beef and chicken stock before.

    Chef Egg 2/21/12 - 5:39 PM
    Hi Aaron, You can buy seafood stock at the store or you can make it your self. All you have to do is get shrimp shells from the seafood dept. at your local grocer. First get some more flavor out of the shells by roasting them until they turn white and bright pink. Next throw them in a large pot with onion, celery and carrot and cover with water. Simmer the stock for 2-3 hours, covered over low heat. When the stock is flavorful, strain all the ingredients and use the stock in soups, sauces or to poach fish.

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