I remember how I ended up making this meal the first time – I read the recipe from a food magazine that was lying around in the employee break room at Newport Avenue Market. I remember it because our Pricing Coordinator, “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” like Voldemort (any Potter fans around here?), asked if I was planning to make it – I was and I did. After work that same day, I shopped for the ingredients and made Shrimp Étouffée for the first time.
The first photo was my first attempt at the yumminess that is Shrimp Étouffée. Étouffée is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. Éttouffer (French) means, “to smother”. Étouffée is the past tense, so basically, what we have here is Shrimp (you can also use crawfish) smothered in a tomato based sauce.
The recipe itself is easier than the word. I’m sure my étouffée is far from an authentic one in Louisiana, but I’m also sure that this recipe is so good you would want to make it over and over again.
On my first attempt, I actually had the meal with brown rice. My second attempt (second photo), I thought, “hey, how about having it with risotto?” I specifically used Alessi Risotto alla Milanese with Saffron, when you come to visit Newport Avenue Market, check out Aisle 7 where you’ll see different grains of rice. Arborio, Jasmine, Black Japonica. Rice for your risotto, rice for paella but I digress. Let’s get back to the star of the show – the Shrimp Étoufée I made (and the one you’ll be making). While using an Italian style rice to pair with a Creole-style stew may be a bit sacrilegious, and while I meant no offense at making this Italian-Creole fusion of a French sounding dish, I thought the risotto actually elevated the dish. Of course, you don’t have to eat it with risotto, but there is one thing I should tell you about making this recipe…if you want something quick, this may not be what you want to make. Making étoufée takes patience, a bit of stewing, and rice usually takes time. Without further ado, let’s get cookin’!
8 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 bunch green onions (thinly sliced, white and light green portions)
1 garlic clove (minced)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh thyme (chopped)
1 ½ c shrimp stock
2 bay leaves
2 lbs shrimp (peeled & deveined)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want it with more kick)
salt and pepper to taste
your choice of rice (buttered) or in my case – Alessi Risotto alla Milanese (cooked as directed on package)
In a deep sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in your green onions and cook, occasionally stirring until softened. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in the stock until smooth. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil before adding the shrimp. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until shrimp are cooked. Season with Cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Discard the bay leaves and serve over your preferred buttered rice.
Enjoy and let us know how you liked it![this recipe was inspired by William-Sonoma’s Shrimp Étouffée recipe that was adapted from a recipe by Poppy Tooker, Slow Foods Convivium, New Orleans.]
About our Foodie: Ana Balbin is Newport Avenue Market’s Loyalty Marketing Director and self-appointed “resident foodie.” She spends countless hours reading recipes online and watching culinary shows and documentaries while daydreaming of going to Europe and Asia to extensively learn more about their cuisines. She is a chronic instagrammer and a voracious snacker.