I cannot believe this is the first seafood recipe I am posting and this blog has been running since October! Well, I guess it is time to change that, especially with Lent approaching.
Now that the Superbowl is over, the parades are picking up again in New Orleans. Parades started this year on January 19th, with a break from January 28th to February 5th for the Super Bowl. February has been extra busy for New Orleans this year.
Mardi Gras is the last day of the Carnival season that starts after the Epiphany. The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is also known as “Fat Tuesday” or “Shrove Tuesday”. Carnival is celebrated around the world. The first Mardi Gras celebration in the United States took place in present day Mobile in 1703. Other areas famous for their Carnival celebrations include Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Germany, Italy, and New Orleans, Louisiana.
More information on the history of Mardi Gras.
In commemoration of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, I made this Shrimp Etouffee. Shrimp Etouffee is a Cajun dish that means “smothered” in French. It is comprised of a roux (a blend of butter and flour used to thicken sauces), vegetables (Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine- onions, bell peppers, celery), and seafood (usually crawfish). It is traditionally served over rice.
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run
2 pounds raw (peeled and tail off) shrimp or 3 pounds crawfish tails
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions (~1 small bunch)
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves
14 ounces tomatoes, diced
1-2 green chilies, seeded and diced
2-3 cups seafood stock
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Once bubbly, use a rubber spatula to mix in flour to make a smooth paste. Cook, while stirring, until the roux turns a deep golden brown.
Stir in the onions, green onions, celery, bell pepper, parsley, and garlic. Continue stirring until the vegetables soften, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and chilies. Add enough seafood stock to make the etouffee a thick stew consistency.
Stir in the cayenne, cajun seasonings, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the etouffee to a boil and add the shrimp. Decrease heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Season to taste if needed.
Serve hot with rice, mashed potatoes, or rolls.