Creole cuisine revolves around influences found in Louisiana from before the sale of Louisiana from France to the United States through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The term Creole describes the population of people in French colonial Louisiana which consisted of the descendants of the French and Spanish upper classes, and over the years the term grew to include native-born slaves of African descent as well as those of mixed racial ancestry.
Like the people, Creole food is a blend of the various cultures of New Orleans including West African, French, Spanish, Caribbean, and Native American, among others. Shrimp Etouffee is a perfect example of the melding of these influences to create delicious results.
Louisiana Creole Shrimp Etouffee
- Large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 6 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 2 cups Onion, chopped
- 1 cup Green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup Celery, chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 6 oz Can of tomato paste
- 3 cups Beef stock
- 1½ cups Water
- 3 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp Dried basil
- ½ tsp Dried thyme
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp Black pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 lbs. Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup Scallion, chopped
- 2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
- Prep – Chop vegetables and pile onto a plate. Drain shrimp, open any cans and measure beef broth and water.
- Make Roux – Melt butter and oil in large pot over low heat. When the butter has melted, add flour and keep stirring over the lowest heat possible until the flour turns a dark brown, approximately 20 minutes.
- Cook – When roux is ready, stir in onions, celery, green peppers, and garlic. Mix in tomato paste and pour in broth and water. Increase heat to medium and add bay leaves, basil, thyme, chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add scallion, parsley, and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are done, about 20 minutes.
- Serve – Move pot to an unlit burner for another hour to let everything blend. Reheat briefly and serve over white rice along with some crusty French bread for soaking up the luscious sauce.