Jun 20, 2013

Shrimp Etouffee

The food scene in Hawaii has improved over the last few years. We have a lot of new restaurants coming up that are really exciting. Having said that though, Hawaii seems to have a problem holding on to a more unique genre of foods. A lot of my favorite restaurants close down within a year, replaced by Steak Outs (or versions of them), or maybe some Pho restaurant.

One of those restaurant is Taste of Bayou (will you ever come back?!!). I can't remember how long it has been since we went there, but I will never forget that meal. It was my first taste of Crawfish Etouffee and it was AMAAAAAAZING!! The etouffee had so many levels of flavor and everything just married together perfectly. It was spicy, but not just hot. It was just incredible. I was so bummed when they closed down, because I only got to eat there twice.

So when my sister sent me a recipe for Crawfish Etouffee from Emeril, I was so excited. I scoured all the grocery stores for crawfish, but it can't be found in Hawaii. I even went to Tamashiro Market and they didn't have them either, not even the frozen variety!! So I found a recipe for Emeril's Shrimp Etouffee. This will have to do until then. I have to say, I was not disappointed!! It was so good!!! I've made this twice now, the first time I used a mixture of clam juice and chicken broth. The second time, I actually took the time to make the shrimp stock. The conclusion is make the shrimp stock. Don't use frozen shrimp shells though, you're not going to get any flavors from that. Use fresh shrimp!!! If you live in Hawaii, Costco has amazing fresh Kauai shrimp. It's so fresh, super sweet and makes a world of difference. Enjoy!! Please leave a comment if you know of an underground crawfish distributor, I know someone must have it, they serve them at those Cajun seafood places.

Shrimp Etouffee
from Emeril

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped green bell peppers
2 cups chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
1 quart (4 cups)shrimp stock, recipe follows
3 pounds medium shrimp (21 to 25 count per pound), peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
Steamed white rice, for serving
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops, for garnish

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously to make a roux. Stir the roux over medium heat until the color of peanut butter, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic to the roux, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pot and season with the bay leaves, salt, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of the Essence. Cook the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk in the shrimp stock.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook the etouffee, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Season the shrimp with the remaining tablespoon of Essence and add them to the pot, stirring to evenly distribute. Cook the shrimp for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Add the chopped parsley to the pot and stir to combine.

3. Serve immediately over steamed white rice and garnish with sliced green onion tops.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning
from Emeril

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Shrimp Stock
from Emeril

1 pound (about 1 quart) shrimp shells and heads
1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrots
3 smashed garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt

1. Place the shrimp shells and heads in a large colander and rinse under cold running water for several minutes.

2. Combine the shrimp shells and remaining ingredients in a heavy 6-quart stockpot, add 4 quarts water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim to remove any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, skimming occasionally.

3. Remove the stock from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container; let cool completely. Refrigerate the stock for up to 3 days or freeze in airtight containers for up to 2 months.



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