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Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay)

Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay) is just a fancy Cajun French expression for 'smothered' shrimp. The gulf shrimp are slow-cooked in a thick and rich garlic butter sauce. We begin by sautéing the Cajun trinity of vegetables--chopped onions, celery and bell pepper--to bring out the traditional and unmistakable flavors of Cajun-style cuisine.

The meal is simple to prepare and rates highly among the more popular Cajun entrées.


    Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay)
  • 2 lbs. fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

    1. melt butter and stir-in flour, onions, celery and bell pepper, mixing well
    2. cook on medium heat until the vegetables become translucent
    3. blend-in the tomato juice, water, garlic and seasonings
    4. simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently
    5. add the fresh medium shrimp and cook for an additional 20 minutes
    6. serve over cooked long grain rice
     Yields 4 to 6 servings.

    Question: How do you smother chicken?
    Answer: Use tiny pillows and sneak-up on 'em while they are sleeping.

    Ahheee!! C'est bon!
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    1. I used to love going to a local restaurant, The Elite Cafe, in San Francisco, for Shrimp Etouffee. They have changed ownership, and it's off the menu, much to my chagrin. I'm going to try this recipe, and I'll let you know what I think. :)

      They used tiny rock shrimp...do you suggest this as well, or would you use larger shrimp?

    2. I like to use wild caught 31-40 count brown shrimp because that's whats common on the gulf coast. But, it really doesn't matter. Just ask the fishmonger for 'gumbo shrimp'. He'll know what you are talking about.

    3. What size can of tomato juice would be used? I want to make this for my hubby for his birthday!

    4. Hi Rose,

      Thanks for your question. In my years as an oil & gas lease broker in south Louisiana, I had the unique opportunity to travel extensively throughout the region. And, I've eaten the various types of ettouffees that each area had to offer.

      I found that the Creoles, who live in and around New Orleans, love to add more tomatoes to their foods -- especially seafood. On the other hand, Cajuns like myself like less tomatoes in our foods and only use it in our Shrimp Etouffee to give the meal 'color' more than flavor. So, you see, it all boils down to what you prefer -- color or flavor. Hope this helps. Please visit often and feel free to email me anytime......~J

    5. Thank you, that is actually very helpful! I consider Louisiana my home (my oldest daughter was born in Jennings) but haven't convinced my northern hubby to move back yet. lol I only learned to cook foods my mom liked so I often have to look up recipes. Hubby doesn't care much for tomato so I will use it more for color than flavor.

    6. I add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to all kinds of sauces to enrich them, and that includes my etouffee. You can't even really taste tomato, it just deepens the flavor of the sauce.

      You're right, though, Cajuns are far less likely to have tomato in things like gumbo and etouffee. I think "tomato gravy", macque choux, and beef & vegetable soup are almost the only things my grandmother put tomato in. Use of tomatoes is one of the main differences in Cajun vs. Creole cooking. The use of allspice is also more common in New Orleans foods, and there is a fairly heavy Italian influence due to all the Italian immigrants from the turn of the last century that you just don't have in Cajun food. I'd say there's also more use of vinegars and spirits in New Orleans/Creole foods than in Cajun foods.

      I find Cajun foods are simpler and heartier, and I MUCH prefer the French bread you find around Jeanerette, New Iberia, & Lafayette to the preferred style in New Orleans, especially for poboys. I don't like that light, cottony French bread texture that you find with poboys in New Orleans. Cajun French bread is heartier, chewier, more substantial. I make a point of getting poboys whenever I go home to visit because the bread is better.

    7. First off I love your site and have enjoyed you on Youtube. To way in on this Blog. The french breads in and around New Orleans were chewy textured because we as Creoles don't use them the first day. That's where you get the term "day ol' bread" as my grandmother would say when she would send me to purchase the french breads from the bakery in the 7th ward in and around New Orleans. I would be told not to purchase fresh french bread but, get that "Day ol' bread" just so that it was the right texture. My father is Cajun and my mother is Creole. I have had food cooked by both sides my entire life. I lean more towards the Creole french style, because I enjoy the rich textures but, I also like my fathers simple dishes too like his fish and bread and his hush puppies. But My grandmother (Creole) would out cook both-sides (RIP).


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