Shrimp Etouffee

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Etouffee is a bit different from jambalaya {not tomato based} or gumbo {thicker} but very Creole. It features shellfish, usually crawfish or shrimp; I prefer shrimp, mostly because I can easily buy it already deveined and shelled, though if you do shell your shrimp, you can use it to make a shrimp stock to cook your rice in {I just use chicken broth}.

Etouffee means to smother, which is a Cajun cooking technique of simmering a small amount of liquid to make a gravy that is heavily seasoned then served over rice {rice should be simple, cook with stock or broth and season with salt and pepper once cooked, maybe a tad bit of butter so it isn't too sticky}; it is quite popular in Louisiana, especially New Orleans.

Great dish to have for Mardi Gras {which is February 21 in 2012}. Most equate Mardi Gras with riotous parties but it is actually a day that is meant to prepare for the season of Lent.  It is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the eating of rich food before fasting begins on Ash Wednesday.

Shrimp Etouffee
1 c butter
1 c flour
2 bell peppers
1 medium onion
2 c chopped celery
5 c broth
1/3 c fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic
1 lb shrimp {small, salad shrimp}

Melt butter in a deep sauce pan or dutch oven over low heat.  Whisk in flour and continue to cook over low heat, whisking frequently, for 20 minutes.  While roux {flour and butter} is cooking, chop the onion, celery and bell peppers.

Add veggies to to roux and stir, coating the veggies.  Increase heat to medium~high.  Slowly add the chicken broth, stirring while doing so.  Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and garlic.  Stir.  Once the sauce has come to a boil, lower heat to maintain a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in cooked shrimp and cook to heated through.  Serve over hot rice.

Tips and Tricks~
*The base of the recipe is a roux that takes time to make. It is important to cook the flour and butter over a low heat so it doesn't burn but should cook for about 20 minutes, til it deepens in color to a mellow caramel.
*The roux doesn't deepen too much in color, but after all the other ingredients have been added and it simmers for 30 minutes, it will get a bit darker.
*Don't be alarmed at the thin soup when you first add all of the broth.  After simmering, covered, the sauce will thicken quite a bit.
*If you use frozen, precooked shrimp, make certain it is completely thawed and drained.  If not, your etouffee will more soupy.

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  1. Great recipe and a very beautiful presentation! Yummy!!

  2. I love anything with shrimp in it. This sounds very good.


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