It was in New Orleans that I first experienced a roux. While I was at the cooking class I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I wanted to make with a roux (sauces, soups, etc). Upon my return home though I wanted little to do with New Orleans cuisine or the butter and oil that came along with it.
Now that it has been almost 6 months, I’m ready to get back to some Louisiana cooking! A dish that I had only at the cooking school, but loved was crawfish etouffee. Now surprisingly, I can get crawfish in Minnesota, but they are whole and so instead of peeling and preparing crawfish I used shrimp.
The roux – which is a blend of fat (oil, butter, lard) and flour provides a silky sheen to the dish, thickens the sauce and as I also discovered, requires more stirring than risotto. The “chocolate” roux that I made out of oil and flour adds a nutty flavor and is commonly used in cajun and creole cuisine.
Shrimp Etouffee based on New Orleans School of Cooking Recipe
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth, hot
3 Tbsp Joes Stuff Seasoning
1 lb shrimp
To make roux, stir flour into very hot oil. Continue stirring until it turns a dark, chocolate color. (Takes some patience) Add in onions, pepper, celery, garlic and Joe’s Seasoning to roux mixture and stir to combine. Slowly incorporate roux and veggie mix into large pan with hot chicken broth. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Add shrimp and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through. Serve over brown rice.