I adore Cajun food. The colors, the flavors, the spice. Yum! Of course, being a Midwestern girl through and through, I can’t actually claim to know much (or anything, for that matter) about authentic Cajun cuisine. The closest I’ve ever been to Cajun food is in restaurants around here (like Bourbon Street) and I’m sure real southerns would scoff at such a thing but…you make do with what ya got! In fact, I’ve never never been anywhere even CLOSE to Louisiana. That it is a world away for me! I always tell Eric I want to go to New Orleans just so I can eat. He doesn’t really think that’s a reason to visit a place (can you imagine?!) so I’ll just have to make do in my own kitchen for now. Maybe some day I’ll get the real thing!
The July issue of Cooking Light has just been a bounty of delicious ideas. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! This recipe caught my eye immediately! It turned out great! A light flavor, but very hearty. Loved the little bit of a kick (It could use more, if you ask me. I’ll probably break out my bottle of Tobasco next time.)
Fair warning, this is a rather labor intensive dish, what with all the veggie chopping and roux making and such. It’d be good for a Sunday dinner. Of course, everyday is Sunday for Ladies of Leisure such as myself. Heh…not sure that’s a good thing! Oh well!
SHRIMP ETOUFFEE (Recipe Source: Cooking Light – July 2008)
**Note** Due to my unfamiliarity with dishes like this, I didn’t really make any changes to the following recipe. I followed it exactly, except that I made far less rice and I only used about a half pound of shrimp. I ended up making sure I fished out all the shrimp so we could eat them, then I saved the sauce and veggie mixture to freeze and add more shrimp at a later date.
- 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2/3 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon salt-free Cajun seasoning (I couldn’t find salt-free, I used regular and omitted salt)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 30 shrimp)
- 4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter in a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups onion, celery, and bell peppers to pan; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in 3/4 cup water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper to onion mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add reserved broth-flour mixture and Worcestershire sauce to pan, stirring well to combine; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green onions, 1/4 cup parsley, and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice. Sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons remaining parsley, if desired.