Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mardi Gras Mayhem - Shrimp Etouffee

This past summer we made a brief stop in New Orleans to check out the scene!
What a crazy town!  So eclectic!!!
 Upon arrival, we heard a band playing.  Down the street came a newly married couple...French Quarter style!

 There stands the St. Louis Cathedral sitting prominetely in Jackson Square, just a stone's throw away from the mighty Mississippi River. (BTW, spelling M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i is still as fun as when you did it as a kid.) 

The architecture is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  My hubby was snapping pictures left and right!  And the food?  Oh my goodness...we needed much more than just a stop over to experience all the goodies that New Orleans has to offer.

So you can see that the normal hustle and bustle you would think of in New Orleans, looks pretty quiet.  But let me tell you...once 2:00 in the afternoon rolls around...let's just say that the fun is just beginning!  I can only imagine what happens when the sun goes down!  What happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans...oooops, wrong town.  Ha Ha Ha!

Anyhow, as Mardi Gras approaches, I like to channel my inner Creole and make a New Orleans inspired dish that is not spicy, unless you want to make it that way, and will please ALL!  The recipe comes from Family Fun 2012 and it totally says The Big Easy...Shrimp Etouffee!

To pronounce it, you say E (eh) tou (to) ffee (fay).  Say it that way and everyone will think you speak French Creole?  Possibly?
Serve the shrimp etouffee with rice and play some New Orleans'll be like you are there!
Here's how you make it...

1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large, chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 14 1/2 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper (more if you want it spicy)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1 lb peeled, deveined, uncooked shrimp
4 cups of rice (white or brown)

In a large fry pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, green pepper and garlic.  Cook until they are soft, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the flour for about 1 minute.  Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring until the mixture has thickened.  Add the tomatoes and spices.  Simmer for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add in the uncooked shrimp.  Cook until the shrimp is no longer pink, about 3-5 minutes.  Serve over rice.

It is really cool to see how the sauce thickens.  Once you add the shrimp and then pour it over the rice...WOW!  This is a family favorite and I only pull it out around Mardi Gras.  I think I need to serve it around the year!

So, channel your inner French Creole and have some Mardi Gras Mayhem in your kitchen!

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet!