When I started this blog, way back in 1784, I promised myself I would try and never cook the same thing twice (at least not cook the same thing twice and blog it, I mean I’m not going to try and live out a whole lifetime without literally cooking the same thing twice, that would be stupid. Stupid and tedious).
Of course I have failed. I’ve done fish and chips several times. I’ve cooked steak about a million times. I just love photographing bloody steaks. Yumbo. Never really blogged about pasta though. The odd lasagne maybe.
But generally I am on a constant search for inspiration. TV programmes (Watching Saturday Kitchen in bed in the morning is usually a good source of ideas, or anything Gordon Ramsay, like his souffle pancakes). The BBC Good Food Magazine comes up with some gems every now and then (Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake, for example). And films. The Godfather, where they make meatballs, is always a good one.
So I was watching ‘Interview with the Vampire’, with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. They are a pair of vampires sucking the blood out of the locals in 18th century New Orleans. And I got to thinking. What would they eat round there if they didn’t have to drink fresh blood?
So I got busy on Google (All pray to the real God) and found Shrimp Etouffee.
Fancy. Unfortunately my vampiric friends wouldn’t have eaten this particular dish as it wasn’t thought up until the 20th century. But I don’t care – internet browsing is a great thing because you set off searching with an idea in your head and then quickly get side tracked and do something completely different. In fact it’s a wonder I didn’t end up making a Victoria Sponge.
Anyway, etouffee means to ‘suffocate’ in French. To suffocate in delicious rich, creamy sauce. And here is how it goes…
- ½ lb shrimp (prawns)
- 1 tin crab lump meat
- ½ stick butter
- 6 ozs flour
- bunch spring onions, chopped
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 pint fish stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- chopped red pepper (should be green, didn’t have any)
- 4 tbsp Creole seasoning (see below)
- 1 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
- bunch of coriander and parsley, chopped
- dash hot sauce
For the Creole seasoning
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
First combine the seasoning ingredients…
Heat the butter in a large pan. I stuck a bit of oil in too to stop the butter burning…
Get it foaming and then add the flour…
Cook over a low heat until it starts to go brown…
Add the garlic, onion, pepper and celery and cook for a few minutes so everything is coated in buttery, floury goodness…
Add the tomatoes and 2 tbsp of the seasoning…
Cook for a few more minutes to make sure everything is softened up…
Pour in the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Add more stock or water if it gets too thick and then splash in the Lea & Perrins…
In a bowl combine and shrimp and crab with the remaining seasoning…
Add to the pan, stir through and cook for a couple of mins…
Drop in most of the spring onions and herbs and hot sauce (leave some for garnishing)…
Stir through. Serve in a large wide bowl with rice on top, sprinkled with the remaining spring onion and herbs…
Really quite pleasant. Warm and hearty without being too spicy. Shrimp Etouffee is definitely worth a go!