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Need a vegetable side dish for shrimp etouffee and can I start the etouffee the day before?

I am making shrimp etouffee next weekend ( from Chef Paul's Louisiana Kitchen) and I will serve it with rice but need another side dish. We're having a group dinner with a New Orleans theme so want to make something that will go. Also one person in our group is allergic to eggplant so that's ruled out. And I'm a little short of time on the actual day so I was hoping to get started the day before, can I make the etouffee up to the point that I add in the shrimp? Also the recipe calls for a cooking time after adding the shrimp for 5-7 minutes which seems like a long time for shrimp, does it need less time? Thanks

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  1. you can absolutely make it the day before. as for adding the shrimp, make sure you get your base sauce warm before adding them, then just cook til done. a gentle heat will be fine and depending on the size of your shrimp, it will take between 3-5 minutes.

    i'd serve a pile of sauteed greens with it, like collards, kale or mustard greens. this will help with color and as a great flavor contrast.

    1. If you don't mind too much last minute prep, crisp fried okra?

      I also like shrimp to the point of just cooked. I guess use your eyes and your best judgement. Sounds like a nice dinner party, enjoy.

      1. You can definitely make the etouffee ahead of time up to the point of adding the seafood. In fact, it will most likely taste even better after having all that time for flavors to meld.

        As far as side dishes, frankly I don't think you need anything other than a nice big mixed green salad with lots of treats added - maybe some fresh-cooked or rinsed canned or frozen black-eyed peas, blue or other cheese crumbles, bacon bits, grape tomatoes, etc., etc., - you get the idea; plus a loaf or two of warm artisinal crusty bread & some softened herb &/or garlic butter.

        1. I agree with anything green, either sauteed or fresh green salad...etouffee is a pretty rich dish as I recall so something green and leafy seems best. Have you made this etouffee recipe before? Is it a good recipe? If so, please share it? Thanks! EDIT: If it's from Chef Paul's book, it's got to be very good, sorry!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Val

            I continue to admonish anyone using Chef Paul's recipes to cut the cayenne in half from the original recipes; you can season to taste, but there's no way to unseason to taste. That said, I've used many of the recipes in Louisiana Kitchen.

            Back to topic: I usually serve etouffe in rimmed soup plates, with a green salad served separately.

            1. re: marthasway

              YES! Very good advice. Even for our palates, recipes from Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen are very--often too--hot.

          2. Our NOLA born and raised friends always do their etouffee the day before to get their roux just right. And they always do. The crawfish or crayfish is always put in the second day though. They know what they're doing but I sure don't. It's spectacular in flavor a HUGE treat for my husband and I. Their etoufee is not tomato based, it's roux and white wine based with a boatload of butter, like unconscionable amounts. <SO GOOD...

            About the veg. Well that could be a matter of taste and choice of yours. I'd go with a staple that I make maybe just because I love it.

            Zucchini with tomatoes

            In fry pan with olive oil and butter goes:
            1. chopped onion, chopped garlic, sliced zucchinis
            2. add salt and pepper, stir until wilted with a bit of browning on the veg.
            3. add cut up fresh tomatoes and a bit of tomato juice if tomatoes are lacking
            4. cover pot and cook over low heat to break up and incorporate tomatoes.
            5. transfer to a baking vessel and add 1/2 c of shredded mild cheddar cheese on top, cover loosely with foil and bake 325 for 20 minutes, take off foil and brown the top, serve with toastie garlicky cheesey artisan bread

            12 Replies
            1. re: iL Divo

              this would be great with the white wine version of etouffee your friends make, but killer tomato overload with the more traditional version of the op, don'tcha think?

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Ok you got me hotoynoodle.
                Now you're making me have to go upstairs and retrieve my PP prized possession :/)
                Who knew his is/was tomato laden?
                It's ok. I'll eat anything that (((master))) makes and be
                glad, very very glad. :)))))
                Now upstairs for retrieval :-)

                1. re: iL Divo

                  ummmm... so what's your prized possession and who is the master cooking? can i come over?

                  traditional etouffee is tomato-based, but i think i'd prefer the white version you mentioned. i shall give that a go soon. (buttah is the best thing evah, after bacon, of course...)

                2. re: hotoynoodle

                  Um.... confused girl here.
                  Holding Chef PP's Louisiana Kitchen circa 1984 in my lap. Page 75-77 is his Crawfish or Shrimp étouffée recipe. Unless I am missing something reading these pages, there is no mention of tomato anything. So ummmmm, I'm stickin to my original proposal. :/(

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    AHA! so that's what you meant by your most treasured possession! lol. i don't have the book and the only time i have ever had etouffee it's been tomato based. my apologies if my assumption was too broad.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Typically, etouffee--and especially "cajun" etouffee--does not contain tomatoes. Often the presence of tomatoes signals a "creole" influence, so you will find some etouffee w/tomatoes added (but not Chef Paul's in LK).
                      It gets confusing because the terms "Cajun" and "Creole" are (mistakenly) used interchangeably, largely b/c Prudhomme, who lives, works, and made his name in New Orleans (which is not Cajun) is a Cajun who made his name as a Cajun chef. Not that he doesn't often blur the distintctions--deliciously--in his own recipes.

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        a big amen to you nomadchowwoman.
                        he is so good at what he does, such a master of his type cuisine and his cookbook is a great read.
                        glad someone knows of his brilliance in the kitchen

                      2. re: hotoynoodle

                        No apology needed. OP said they were using his recipe fom a cookbook I treasure.
                        I didn't remember him using tomato anything in that recipe which is why I checked.
                        That's why I didn't understand your post. No worries, it's a New Year, happy New Year!

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          i'm an ignorant bostonian. we don't hav etouffee, per se!

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            again Happy New Year.
                            you may not have etouffee, but you do possess the 4th most famous violin maker in the world living in Boston, that says something.........................yea, I know OT but a bit of info just the same

                            1. re: iL Divo

                              not to mention a gazillion other talented folks and wonderful foods!

                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                yea but the one I'm speaking of is my favorite.
                                good food, oh yea................