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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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. :/(
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.
I like oven roasted asparagus with it. But, I like asparagus with just about anything. Stuffed zucchini might be nice.
When I make etouffee or jambalayaI have always used a recipe from the Time-Life series on the cooking of New Orleans. Simmer cleaned whole leeks until tender. Place in a shallow dish and cover with a mixture of olive oil, wine vinegar and cajun mustard ( a basic vinaigrette).. Let it sit for a couple of hours.
For those with the PP cook book, is the following recipe the same one? Does it use his magic seasoning or give you the actual ingredients. This recipe came from this website ; http://www.chefpaul.com/site.php
But first.... I get so confused about etouffee. I grew up on the border of Lousiana, I have lots of cajun relatives and they always said the difference between cajun and creole was that cajun does not use tomatoes and creole cooking does. BUT, I lived in Lake Charles (which I think of as Cajun, not Creole) for a while, and all of the crawfish etouffee there was tomato based. It was a dark brownish, red color. Whatever I love them both. Here's the recipe from PP's website.
Shrimp or Crawfish Etouff�e (Stew
)Makes 8 Servings
Etouff�e means smothered, and in this traditional Louisiana dish the shrimp or crawfish are smothered with a great combination of seasoned vegetables in a dark roux.
Find this recipe and more in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Pure Magic.
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
7 tablespoons vegitable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons or 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic� or
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Meat Magic�
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic�, in all
3 cups seafood stock, in all
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, in all
2 pounds whole, uncooked medium shrimp or crawfish
1 cup very finely diced green onions
4 cups hot cooked white rice
how to prepare
Peel the shrimp or crawfish and use the shells to make the stock. If you can't buy whole raw shrimp where you live, go ahead and use peeled ones and substitute vegetable stock for the seafood stock.
Combine the onions, celery and bell peppers in a bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the flour, stirring until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the roux is dark red-brown, about 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vegetables and 1 tablespoon of the Seafood Magic (or other Magic Seasoning) with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until cool, about 5 minutes.
Bring 2 cups of the stock to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat. Add the roux by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking almost constantly, until the flour taste is gone, about 2 minutes. If any of the mixture scorches, don't continue to scrape that part of the pan bottom. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Melt 1 stick of the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the shrimp (or crawfish) and the green onions, and sauté, stirring almost constantly, for 1 minute. Add the remaining butter, the stock mixture and the remaining 1 cup stock. Cook, constantly shaking (versus stirring) the pan in a back-and-forth motion, until the butter melts and is mixed into the sauce, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the remaining Seafood Magic (or other Magic Seasoning), stir well, and remove from the heat. If the sauce starts to separate, add 2 tablespoons more stock or water and shake the pan until it combines. Serve immediately over the rice.
Lake Charles is definitely not "creole"--but that doesn't mean tomatoes haven't made their way into etouffee there. Still, I've never seen a recipe for etouffee that is tomato-based (if you mean having tomatoes or tomato sauce as a foundation), so it's surprising that most of the etouffee in LC would be. But I'm wondering: could that reddish-brown color comes from the roux? My etouffee is the color you describe, but that comes from the roux as there's not a lick of tomato in the recipe. (Then again, it's entirely possible that there are influences on LC cooking that distinguish it from that of other parts of Acadiana.)
Here is the recipe for the "seasoning mix" for Chef Paul's etouffee (from Louisiana Kitchen); please keep in mind that the amt. of pepper--esp. the 2 tsp of cayenne--is extraordinary. I would start by cutting it by at least half and adding more if you want it.:
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cayenne or other ground red pepper
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
Would I be impolite by asking you for your etouffee recipe? I don't really know if the LC etouffee was as you describe or not. It seemed like it must have some tomato in it. I ate this at many restaurants and festivals while I lived there. Very similar for all of them.
I find this kind of question very peculiar. It seems that all cajuns or creoles have a set idea about what is gumbo, or what is etouffee... But, I'm beginning to think it varies a LOT from region to region. Do you think so, nomad?
Here is another recipe I found which sounds like it might be close to what I had in Lake Charles.
Here it is in print: It is for shrimp etouffee.......
This is a thick version, with a dark roux.
* 1 cup flour
* 1 cup corn oil
* 2 cups chopped onions
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 1/2 cup bell pepper
* 2 cloves chopped garlic
* 3 pounds raw deveined shrimp
* 1 large can tomatoes
* 2 small cans tomato paste
* 3 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
* 2 tablespoons chopped green onion tops
Make roux (brown over slow fire stirring constantly) of flour and cooking oil -- add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, mix well and cook about 5 minutes then add 6 cups of water. Let simmer about 1 hour. Add 3 pounds of raw deveined shrimp, cook for 15 minutes. Add parsley and onion tops 5 minutes before serving. Serves 10 generously over rice.
Please don't think I'm doubting you, nomad, I've had many relatives argue over what is the proper gumbo or etouffee, etc. I would just like your opinion on it.
I live in Austin, TX now and there is a "cajun" meat market that makes etouffee among other things. I love their etouffee but it is like none other that I have tasted. It must have cream in it... It is rich, creamy and delicious. Original?? I don't know. What do you think? It's wonderful, anyway.
Just trying to find the various roots of my original culture... haha what a trip.
I will be glad to type it up for you tomorrow or the next day, ttb. And, no, I take no offense in your questions--as I hope you did not in mine. I have only been to LC twice and so know nothing first-hand about the food (but have always made certain assumptions about it since my parents and my brother lived for a while in Lafayette.)
I am always interested in these issues--so many variations in the gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee in south Louisiana. ( And I'd be the last to pass judgment on what is proper or authentic or original. I think it's safe to say--sometimes--what is "typical," but that's about as far as I'll go!)
My brother is visiting w/his GF, and after reading this thread last night, I mentioned the etouffee question. He then expressed a desire for a cajun etouffee, and I ended up making it in addition to several other things he'd requested for his farewell feast tonight. I mention this because he described an etouffee he remembered having in Abbeville--no tomatoes, but he said it must have had cream in it, like the Austin version you describe . I consulted several cookbooks today but couldn't find anything like he described with cream--although I found a few interesting versions of etouffee, one with tomatoes and even one with cream of mushroom soup. So it is more an open question than I thought. (I ended up making my own version, a recipe I cobbled together from a few.)
But we all laughed as the GF talked about having had four different gumbos while in town and their all being completely different. Trying to define gumbo in this culture is a fool's errand.
But trying to find the roots of our culture, ttb, is a (fabulous) trip, with a lot of delicious detours, and we are very fortunate in that.
I have been to Austin only twice, but I would love to spend a bit of eating time there.
Thank you nomad! I look forward to trying your version whenever you get the time to type it up.
I have a few church and fire station cookbooks from the area where I grew up. Several of those recipes call for cream of mushroom soup in etouffee, as well as many other dishes. That soup definitely had it's era!! I've never made any of those recipes because it seemed so strange. Maybe for the next special occasion I'll tweak one using cream instead of the soup. That cajun meat market sells the cooked and frozen crawfish tails for 17.99 per package (which is either 1/2 pound or a pound - can't remember). We don't eat them often!
Here's the recipe I use when I make etouffee (crawfish or shrimp). I don't make any claims about it (authenticity, correctness, etc.), just that we love it. It is cobbled together from four or five recipes I had tried over the years (including Prudhomme's and Rima and Richard Colin's). I messed around until I found something we liked--we like, for instance, a roux base with a darkish (but not too dark) color, and we like the tang of lemon juice at the end. Also, I always use packaged Louisiana crawfish tails (frozen when it's not crawfish season): they're just barely cooked and not seasoned. I once made the mistake of using tails I peeled from some leftover crawfish from a boil and not adjusting the seasoning (duh), and the result was inedible. Anyway, here goes:
Crawfish (or Shrimp) Etouffee
1/3 c. vegetable oil (I use peanut or canola)
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped green pepper
1 c. chopped onion
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. basil
1 bay leaf
1 T. chopped garlic
2 c. seafood or shrimp stock (you can use chicken stock or a mix of chicken
broth /clam juice)
4 T. butter, in four pieces
1 lb. pkg. of (thawed) crawfish tails with fat (or peeled, deveined shrimp)
4-5 scallions, chopped
1-2 T. chopped parsley
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. finely chopped red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (optional)
In heavy bottomed pan or skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat until oil starts to shimmer (about 3-4 minutes). Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until roux is reddish-brown (it will get darker). Add celery, green pepper, and onions(you may want to switch to a wooden spoon if you've been using a whisk) and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in spice mix. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in garlic, and let sit while you bring stock to a boil in another pot. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to hot stock, stirring to dissolve. Lower heat and simmer for about ten minutes. (You may turn off heat and stop here if you want to make this ahead, but the rest of the recipe should be made just before serving.) Add cold butter to hot etouffee base and swirl in until melted. Add crawfish tails and scallions and stir well. Add lemon juice and parsley (and bell pepper, if using--I like it mainly to add color and a hint of crunch; it's definitely not necessary). Voila!
Until recently, I have always served this with brown rice (but it goes great w/white of course). I now serve it w/ Cajun Grain, a great new product out of Acadiana--brown jasmine rice w/bits of wild red rice. I've seen my husband spoon it over French bread if no cooked rice was available.
Thank you, thank you! It is printing as I type.
I'll keep my eye out for the Cajun Grain. We've been using Texas Best brown basmati which, so far, is the only brown rice I've found that I like. For etouffee, though, I stick with white.
Mmm, mmm, mmm, I think I'll make this for Valentine's Day.
Yours is an excellent example of the etouffee evolution of the last fifty years, especially in that it combines various versions...this kind of thing has gone on as long as people have cooked. Lots of classics today bear scant resemblance to the original and are often improvements. The mushroom soup versions referred to before are a great example: some people wouldn't do it any other way and to others it is anathema.
It's funny b/c I've been thinking about this all week. I asked my mother for her recipe for etouffee (which I never particularly cared for--while Mom's a wonderful cook, her cajun dishes are not her strength, but then she's not cajun; heck, she's not even southern), and she told me that all she does is cook chopped onions, celery, and green peppers in butter (a lot of butter) and then stir in the crawfish, salt, and black pepper. No roux. No tomatoes. No stock. No garlic or scallions. She claims her MIL taught her to make it, but I do not recall ever eating anything like it at my grandmother's.
nomad- ohhh - your recipe sounds divine - while we were at Galatoire's last week we received their cookbook and I have spent some time today perusing the recipes - and when I read yours, I compared it to theirs and can taste automatically the benefits of yours in my mind! Thanks for printing this - I, too, just printed this out to place in the page of Galatoire's cookbook!
Edit - BTW - this trip to NOLA was my first time having crawfish - I don't think it will be an easy find up here in the northeast - i know you said you make it with shrimp as well - any difference in the cooking methods? There, too, I was not much of a shrimp eater before this trip to NOLA - lobster was my passion, but shrimp-meh - but now....... lol
Hey there, SA--I haven't been on the boards in a while, but I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to NOLA, hope you'll be back. I've been in your neck of the woods for a little while, and I'm enjoying the heck out of it, eating the apple practically to the core! I'll do a trip report once I get home.
But, yes, I often make etouffee w/shrimp--pretty much the same method although I usually have to cook the shrimp a bit longer as they're always raw (and usually bigger than crawfish) whereas the crawfish are cooked. But it's not much difference. Shrimp etouffee is excellent. If I have a choice, I will usually opt for crawfish, but as to deliciousness, it's splitting hairs. Heck, I've had chicken etouffee that was delicious.
TTB--I just wanted to get back to you b/c yesterday I cracked open a new cookbook I got as a gift--The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook (which covers a wide range of Southern cooking)--and inside is a crawfish etouffee recipe, and, lo and behold, it calls for a can of tomato sauce. (It was submitted by someone from Iota, LA--don't know where that is, but love the name!) Further along in the book is a recipe for duck-andouille etouffee, and it calls for tomato paste. So while I had never seen (or perhaps never *noticed* an etouffee recipe with tomatoes, now they're popping up everywhere!)
I have done a lot of work on The Etouffee Question and, while you will find cookbooks (especially in the last thriry years) beginning to put tomato in, it is not original (so far as I have been able to detrmine "original") Nor does it have a roux but even some of the best cooks I know will sometimes put some flour in just as a light binder...but they just cook the rawness out, rather than a full-blown roux production. The thing to recall is that this stuff was originally made quickly, saving time and fuel . A talented etouffee cook I know--who is so good that he has been banned from cooking in competitions and can only judge them--argues against celery saying that no one raised celery in the garden (but they did have onion and garlic----of course, they probably had tomato too...you figure it out) The real secret is butter and fat. The very best non-crawfish etoufee I ever had was made with crab and boy! was it rich!
I get to lake Charles a lot and the issue raised above deserves its own discussion
As to sides, keep it light I think...salad cannot lose although the stuffed mirliton isa good idea. And, if not stuffed, just a mirliton casserole.
PS. The mushroom soup addition is a fiercely debated topic. It's a lotta fun in its own right. Been around for a LONG time,,I attribute it to hunting camp style.
I just reread the recipe because I assumed that by him saying to use 1 T of the spice mix in the beginning of the recipe, that was all that would be called for in this recipe reserving the other amount, to be used later, in another recipe. I'm surprised that he's calling for all of that spice mix. That's almost 2 1/2 T of spice mix. Now granted it makes 8 servings but seems over the top to me. I'd cut it back for sure.
My mouth isn't accepting of extreme heat, it's not my favorite thing to have my head blown off or my mouth blown out.
This also isn't the recipe for his magic spice as he told on GMA. That one too is used by me sparingly.
re: iL Divo
BION, he calls for using all that spice mix--although in separate additions--in the recipe. Much as I like his recipes in that cookbook and have a pretty high tolerance for heat, I too find the spice amounts over the top and always start by cutting them in half. What ratios did he reveal on GMA?
re: chef chicklet
Thank you all ... found a recipe for Galatoire's Spinach Rockafeller, may go with that . a little rich ...
or other spinach or zuchinni ... this is for a dinner group so someone else has salad ... don't have any experience with mirlitons... you get them in an asian produce store?
Hope you don't mind me adding to this thread Normnew.. I have the salad course in this dinner.
Any ideas Chow hounds? Not too easy please..