Spicy Butter with Shrimp a.k.a. Shrimp Etouffee Recipe

Whew! I've started a number of projects lately, and while I'm happy to be churning away (see: the DSM IV's diagnosis for "Control Freak") I hate to be away from the food blog for very long.

I also have what Mr. Luz's therapist would call an "enmeshed" family. I don't think he meant that as a compliment, but my family represents some of the coolest people on the planet. My little brother flew a plane all by himself this week! Can you do that? Even better, my older brother got a call from his son's teacher--she just wanted my bro to know that he and his wife were raising my nephew to be a "wonderful man."

Sigh. Hearing about these things brings me more comfort and satisfaction than anything else, which may explain why I'm constantly on the phone right now in lieu of sleeping, eating, and bathing.

Another thing that offers me comfort and satisfaction is spicy butter with shrimp. (See how I transitioned there? Good, huh?) Since I've already shared my familial celebrations with you --Go Scooter! Go Nikko! You guys make me so proud--I'd also like to share a culinary celebration. This recipe is largely courtesy of Nola Cuisine, with, of course, some Control-Freak-tweaking. I like it because you get all the benefits of a roux (nutty flavor and thickness) without the work.

Shrimp Etouffee Recipe

2 Tbsp Tony's Light Creole Seasoning, or another low sodium Creole Blend
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Onion, cut into 8 parts
1/2 cup Onion, Finely Chopped
1/2 cup Celery, Finely Chopped
1/2 cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
1/4 cup Flour
1 cup Fresh Tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups Shrimp Stock (instructions below)
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
2 bundles Fresh Thyme
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 1/2 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/2 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 lb Good Quality Shrimp, Peeled and De veined--reserve the shells for stock
Salt, Cayenne Pepper, and Black Pepper to taste
4 cups Prepared rice

To Make the Stock

Put tails and shells from 2 lb. of shrimp in stock pot. Roast the shells on medium-high heat, stirring often, until some of the shells begin to darken beyond a red color. Add the onion you cut into 8ths and one bundle of thyme and cover with water.* Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least one hour. If you do not have a fine mesh sieve, strain first through a colander, and then through paper towels folded into a funnel.

*The original recipe calls for a more involved stock recipe, but I simplified it and it still tasted wonderful. Also, if you want to simmer for longer than an hour, the lemon in the original recipe releases some of the bitter oils in its rind and ruins your stock.

To Make the Ettoufee

Chop all the veggies ahead of time. This recipe comes together quickly, so you'll want your ingredients on hand. Season the shrimp with 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning. Melt the butter in a soup pot, and add the Holy Trinity (onions, bell pepper, and celery). Saute on medium heat until translucent.Whisk in the flour and stir until the mixture turns a dark yellow, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining Creole Seasoning. Add a small amount of the shrimp stock, stir well to form a paste, add the remaining stock gradually, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add salt, cayenne, and black pepper to taste. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.Add the shrimp and green onions, cover, and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. The shrimp will release some water as they cook and thin the ettouffee. Serve over rice. I prefer a 1:1 ratio of rice to ettouffee...it should be stew-like on serving. Immediately share with your favorite family member. (Syd, we have a date w/some N'awlins food the next time I come home!)