Weekend Cooking: Shrimp Etouffee

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs…

I’m currently reading Dead in the Family, book number 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.  As I was thinking about what to post for this Weekend Cooking, I asked myself, “What would Sookie eat?”  I don’t know about you, but I love to match the mood of the book I’m reading by eating a meal that relates to it–sometimes I’ll read a book that keeps me dreaming of a certain kind of food for days.  Anyone who has read Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie knows what I’m talking about.  I also do the same thing with music, but that’s a post for another day…

Anyway, in the spirit of my current read and the Cajun cooking it conjures up for me, here’s one of my favorite foods, per someone who knows how a thing or two about Louisiana food.

Shrimp Etouffee

(from Emeril Lagasse, via The Food Network)


  • 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 shrimp stock
  • 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


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.

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.

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

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

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

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Shrimp Stock:

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

bay leaf

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons salt

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

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.

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


10 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: Shrimp Etouffee

  1. Beth F

    What a fun, fun post. I think book 9 of the Sookie series is my next one. And yes, all that Louisiana talk gets me thinking cajun for sue. I love this idea for a weekend cooking post (I may have to steal it sometime). Now I have a hankering for etouffee. 🙂

  2. Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick

    I remember visiting Louisiana for a business meeting about five years ago. It was my first visit and I remember that the food was absolutely incredible. I love me some Cajun cooking (vegetarian-style now, though). Thanks for posting this, I’m going to have to do some Cajun cooking recipe searching now…!

  3. Margot

    You are a reader after my own heart. I love getting into the life of the book I’m reading by imagining the food they eat, music they listen to, what the area looks like, and so forth. It really adds to the total enjoyment of a book. It’s also a great way to experience new dishes like this one.

  4. TheBookGirl

    I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans, not the least of which for the wonderful food…I am impressed at how you are able to complete what appears to be a pretty complicated recipe 🙂

  5. Pingback: It’s Monday! What are you reading? | Too Fond

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