Tried this last night. Making the shrimp stock with the shrimp shells made a big difference. Made the sauce so flavorful. My husband loved it.
I have made this recipe twice and it is for sure a keeper! I also added andouille sausage at the time I added the shrimp. This made me have to add a little more of the stock when I added the sausage. The dish was even more delicious and my husband can’t stop telling me how wonderful I am. ;)
I’m so glad you like it Jill!
Don’t forget the oil spill in the Gulf. Our neighbor works there and says the oil is still down there with bed shrimp.
Try subing butter for the oil when making the roux. I fine a light butter roux is best for shrimp, crab and crawfish as it doesn’t overwhelm the meat.
Sounds great and will try it tonight. I have creole seasoning in the cupboard. Can I substitute that for the cajun seasoning?
Made this two nights ago and it was awesome! Funny – I think etouffee is one of those foods that everyone has their own recipe (and opinion). I’ve tried several recipes, and I think this one was great! However, I did add Andouille sausage to mine ;)
For those that avoid wheat flours: “glutinous rice flour” works as a direct replacement in an étouffée roux.
Good to know, thanks Sean!
Tried this gluten free flour substitute and it worked great!!
I was born and raised in Louisiana and my family use tomatoes as one of the ingredients in Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee! But ours look different!
@Lisa – From a traditional standpoint, Cajun Étouffée would not have tomatoes. Many consider the addition of tomatoes to make it Creole style. Often simply called “Shrimp Creole”.
In my family we did both, depending on the season, the quality of shrimp and what else we were having to eat. Without tomatoes requires a bit more precision & quality to the ingredients since you are relying completely on the roux, veg & spices to make it.
I made this today, and it was awesome! I cooked the roux to the dark old-penny color that you’d use for a gumbo, thinking it would be the same, but I’m reading all the comments here, and I guess what I made isn’t a “real” etouffee?
I’m still going to make my version with the darker roux though, as not only did the stew thicken up fine (maybe it’s because I used more roux than the recipe called for), but the toasted nutty flavor it brought to the dish was phenomenal.
Also, I preseasoned the shrimp with Cajun spice and added more spice to the vegetables as it sauteed. Seemed enough seasoning for me: I realized halfway through eating it that I had forgotten the hot sauce, and I had never missed it.
Thank you for a really delicious recipe!
Made this for dinner tonight, is was fantastic – thanks for the recipe! There was a sale on head-on shrimp at my local grocer, so my stock was even more flavorful.
This was a terrific dish! We did add crawfish with 2 bay leaves and some parsley. I think next time I will have to make a double, maybe even a tripke batch…gone in an instant! LOL Thank you for a wonderful meal!! :P
Well I’m making this tonight! The first time I try a new recipe I like to remain true to the original, later I can make my own changes. Would like to mention though, the word gumbo comes from the African name for Okra. Therefore, I believe a true gumbo must have okra in it. Right? Thanks for the recipe.
That is in dispute, and there are plenty of traditional Louisiana gumbos without okra. ~Hank
In one of the French speaking African countries the word “gumbo” means “okra”. As the daughter of a Louisiana Cajun, we ALWAYS had okra in our chicken/sausage gumbo. Seafood gumbo not that I remember. But we love the okra.
I made this dish in a very large cast iron skillet (we just got induction and I still can’t make up my mind on new cookware). Used 1/2 butter and 1/2 oil for the roux, hot Szeged paprika b/c I was out of sweet, only 1 jalapeno. Mistakenly purchased shelled shrimp, so used the tails for stock and reduced quantity of other stock ingredients by 1/2 and ended up with exactly 1 pint after simmering. Also did not have celery seed, so skipped it and added pinch of thyme. Used Hank’s recipe in the comments for the seasoning mix (except for the paprika and celery seed, as already mentioned). Very nice result, thanks for this recipe.
To the person with seafood alergies, I make an okra and tasso etouffee–no shellfish whatsoever. And, having lived in Louisiana my entire life, I can attest to the fact that many an etouffee is made with a tomato base.
This sounds like a very flavorful dish. I love spicy, but I might try to tone down the spices for my 1 1/2 year old :) I bet he’d like this!Have you tried this with Chicken?
I have not, but others have and they said it is excellent done with chicken! ~Hank
Most saturday nights my husband and I like to make something “special” for dinner. This recipe fit perfectly. A definite keeper. Thank you.
I just finished making this. It came out great.. just like any other dish made from your site. Thanks Elise! Your website helps me try out dishes I have only had in restaurants :)
I made this last night, with a few changes — I used butter in the roux (was out of bacon fat) and I’m allergic to onions, so that was out. It still tasted great! I used a Trader Joe’s seafood stock, adding celery, bay leaves and shrimp shells to simmer. I only had basmati rice on hand, so after having a dish of the etouffee as is, I then experimented with adding some unsweetened shredded coconut, saffron and some peas to it. It became a whole new thing with the basmati rice, a cross between a Carribean dish and Indian curry. We liked both versions so much, I’ll be making this again. Thanks!
Hank; I hope you’re not paying too much attention to the critics…
I guess some are wannabe experts…
We should all remember that the origination of gumbos, etouffees, stews, etc… was that it was a “gumbo” of everything & anything in the fridge or whatever the hubby caught in the traps or on his pole that day. The person that corrected you & said that “if it had tomatoes in it, then it would be a shrimp creole” was wrong. Creole is not close to the same family as stew, gumbo or etouffee.
Applying an exact, precise title to a gumbo, stew or etouffee is useless… Like the early cajuns & creoles intended, It’s whatever you want to put in it & whatever you want to call it! I DID see Paul Prudomme put a few tomatoes in a etouffee… Gumbos, stews & etouffees are differentiated by the degree of soupiness rather than the ingredients. One can travel to 1,000 cajun and creole cafes in cajun country & find no two gumbos, etouffees, or stews alike.
Thanks for your article & recipe Hank…
Créole gal here with just a little tip. Lard/oil is okay for a gumbo roux, but for étoufée, it’s better to have the lighter, creamier roux. Instead of lard/oil, use butter. Sounds like a little difference, but trust me, your tastebuds will THANK you! (and skip the jalepenos; use a little Cajun or Creole seasoning instead for some kick).
With ya on the butter – it works well with a light roux – but I’ll stick with the jalapenos. I like what they bring to the party. ~Hank
Can I use old bay seasoning in place of Cajun seasoning?
Hi Donna! The flavor will be a little different, but I think it will still be great! Let us know how it works out!
I have had and made gumbo with only one meat/seafood but, I usually make mine with several. Most gumbos are thickened with either roux or okra but, I use both. Also, file powder really should only be sprinkle over the bowl when you serve it or use it all at that time. When file is reheated, it tends to make the gumbo gummy.
Good point about the file – I sprinkle it on at the table. ~Hank
For the best description of the difference between a gumbo and etouffee is to read a discourse (so formal!) on the different types of roux’s used in Louisiana cooking. Chef John Folse is an expert on Cajun & Creole cooking and gives an excellent explanation on the different roux’s (6 of them!)and which one is commonly used in which dish. Here is the link: http://www.jfolse.com/fr_rouxs.htm
As far as the butter roux for etouffee, that is how I learned to make it from several chef’s who won the world champion etouffee cook-off (many, many years ago). The orange/red color in the crawfish etouffee does not come from tomato, but from the orange fat that coats the crawfish tails. You have to make sure that you squeeze as much of that out of the bag (if using frozen tails) to get the most flavor. No counting calories.
I made version of this with chicken – same spices and everything- even the chicken broth. And it came out very very very delicious!! Now I don’t know much about cajun cooking so let me dare ask – what is the difference between etoufee and gumbo? because my chicken etoufee was more like a chicken gumbo in taste (and feel!).
Glad you made it! At the risk of starting a war here, gumbo, to me, has a) more than one meat, b) okra, and c) file powder, which is powdered sassafras leaf. Louisiana folks, chime in here. OK? ~Hank
Yes it usually has at least two meats. No it doesn’t have to have okra and file’ is optional.
Also this recipe seems to be more of a shrimp stew than an etouffee.
Looks like a great recipe and I’m adding it to my ‘to make’ list. A question – it seems like 10 minutes would overcook the shrimp. Comment?
It doesn’t, because the etouffee is just gently simmering, not boiling. If you plan to serve this over an extended period of time, as opposed to all at once, you can turn off the burner and let the carryover heat finish the shrimp. ~Hank
I missing the butter in this? I always thought Butter and bestified clarified butter?
But, it reads good and I may try it this way, Hmmmmm, will a cup of bacon grease sub for the 1/4 cup of Lard?
You bet. Will be a different flavor though. ~Hank
Please tell me how to pronounce “etoufee”
So many recipes come on different sites that I haven’t a clue how to say them.:-)
This sounds wonderful. Sure wish I could find crawfish!
I pronounce it, “EH-two-fay,” with a slight emphasis on the first syllable. ~Hank
I made this last night and it was perfect! I loved the addition of the jalapeños and sweet paprika in particular.
Very tasty with the right amount of heat, I used Tony C’s seasoning. Gravy was just about right in taste and thickness using a scant pint of stock. Will do this again and this time for company.
First of all, I don’t know how you’ve never heard of chicken etoufee, but it’s one of my favs, and the only way I get etoufee at home as my hubby is allergic to shrimp. :-) Just finely shred some cooked chicken and replace the shrimp with it. Second, you can get a LOT more flavor from your roux if you do 1/2 oil and 1/2 butter. The oil lowers the butter’s scorch temp, allowing you to cook the roux longer and get a true brick roux, and you get the richness of the butter flavor. Always keep your ratio of fat to flour about 1:1 in a roux and you’ll be all good. I’m also surprised there’s not any bay leaf in this recipe, because it’s traditional in etoufee, but, as you said, there’s a million different ways to prepare it.
I must say that I agree with Avis here. Being from 70 miles south of New Orleans, etouffe is a staple in our house, particularly during crawfish season. By and large, it sounds like a really good recipe, but as Avis pointed out, it should be thicker. The way that my husband does it is that he sweats his aromatic veggies in real butter, sprinkles flour over them, and then adds whatever liquid he is using until the desired consistency is reached. I check this site most every day. It is really enjoyable to read articles and recipes from people as passionate about food as you and your contributors.
Looks fabulous. Thanks. Just a suggestion, whenever I make stock, I double the recipe and freeze my leftovers in ice cube trays. It works great and I toss a few cubes into this or that for extra flavor. It even allows my daughter to have instant “au just” (to her at least) for her meat and/or veggies.
I love shrimp etouffe, but prefer crawfish etouffee. In Lafayette, LA, the heart of cajun country, shrimp and crawfish etouffee are USUALLY, not always, made with butter or margarine and the roux is only cooked to “blond” not brown. This way, it retains its’ thickening properties that some people have mentioned above. And, what’s better with shrimp, or crawfish, than butter? If you do visit Acadiana and order an etouffee, this is usually how it is prepared and these are some of the things that separates it from a gumbo, is its’ stew qualities. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a chef in Acadiana (or any of my local cookbooks) call for celery seed in the etouffee. Maybe in the potato salad on the side, but, they tend to run in the eggy/relish/add pickle juice to the potato salad. The slight acidity in the potato salad is a nice complement to the richness of the etouffee. Enjoy!
Thanks for the tips! My roux thickened quite well, actually, as it was only cooked to barely brown, not the rich, nut-brown of a gumbo roux. And as for the celery seed? You got me – that’s my own addition. ;-) ~Hank
For Amy – if you can find Tony Chachere’s in the spice section – that’s a common Cajun seasoning.
And it’s pronounced “shash-er-ee” :D
Wow….just made an etouffee Monday, go to your web-site and find your recipe. Looks really good. I make mine with andouille sausage along with the shrimp. This time I also braised some whole chicken thighs with the etouffee, removed the skin and bones, shredded the meat and added back in with the shrimp just before serving. Keep up the good work and great recipes coming.
Just my 2 cents… Although it seems obvious to me that you should shell the shrimp from the étouffée ingredients to add to the ingredients for the stock… I would probably make that a little more explicit in the directions, especially since that part is listed as optional.
Any idea what to use as a substitute for “Cajun seasoning”? I don’t live in the states and my grocery stores don’t carry this. :-(
Everyone’s mix is different, but you will need something like this: 1 Tbsp salt, 2, teaspoons sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1/4 teaspoon allspice. Hope that helps! ~Hank
This looks wonderful. I do have a question. How much stock do you end up with total and how much do you use for the recipe? I know you said about a pint for the recipe but I just want to make sure the pint (give or take a bit) is for the etouffee only. Thanks!
Yes, the pint is for the etouffee only. We got about 2 quarts of stock total. ~Hank
Love the site, but shouldn’t the Étouffée be made with the shells off.
The etouffee is indeed made with the shells off – you use the shells to make the stock. ~Hank
I am alergic to seafood, could I use chicken insead?
Never heard of a chicken etouffee, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. ~Hank
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