Etouffee and a Lighthouse

6 Jul

Ah, here we are, home from vacation, and dreading the return to work tomorrow! Fortunately, my back healed up after a week of rest, and I was able to enjoy being active on vacation. This included running a few miles, walking around 15 miles, biking 32 miles, and climbing this lighthouse:


Nice view from the top, huh?


And here I go climbing down the ladders, which we mostly all agreed was a bit more precarious than climbing up the ladders.


We went on vacation with GP’s family, 7 of us total, and traded off cooking duties while we were there. I think both my recipes were well recieved. One I acquired from AllRecipes.com and modified to my own liking, and the other I made up while we were at the store (a dangerous thing to do, but the result was worth it!). First supper posted here, second supper posted later!

Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee
Cook time: 45 minutes to an hour
Serves: 8 – 10 people. Could easily be halved to serve 4-6.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup flour

1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 chopped onions
4 stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise and chopped (be sure to include some leafy inside stalks, they have the most flavor)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups fish, chicken, or vegetable stock

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb crawdaddies, shelled and deveined

1 1/2 Tbs fish seasoning (Old Bay)
2 tsp Cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste

4 cups cooked rice

Directions:
Start by making a dark roux. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring continuously, until flour develops a peanut butter color. If the flour burns, throw it out and start over.

Add the chopped onions, peppers, and celery, and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the stock, tomatoes, and Old Bay seasoning and simmer on low heat until tomatoes break down, about 15 to 20 minutes

Add the shrimp and crawfish to the pot and cook until shrimp turns light pink and begins to curl. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp or they will be rubbery! At this point, season the pot with cayenne and hot sauce until it suits your taste. I added a few shakes of hot sauce and about 2 tsp cayenne to give it a slightly hot bite. Then, I added about another tbl of hot sauce to my own plate.

Serve the etouffee over the cooked rice. I served sweet potatoes fries as a side dish. There was a single serving left over after we were all done eating.

Note: If you don’t particularly like to cook with a roux or try to avoid white flour, omit the roux and replace with about 2 – 3 cups of okra (fresh or frozen). This will also serve to thicken the etouffee to the desired consistency, about that of a good stew. Also, if you don’t like okra, you can use filé (fee-lay) powder as a thickening agent. I’ve never used this method, so I can’t help you with the amount necessary, but I’m sure you can find out on the packaging.

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