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Shrimp Etouffee from New Orleans

When you've been writing a food blog long enough (since 2009 in my case) you often wonder if it's been going on too long. If there is anyone this still matters to. After all, the world have moved on to tik tok videos and insta food videos that provide instant gratification.

I began writing this blog years ago for my boys, when they were little. I wanted them to always have our family recipes on their finger tips. But they're young adults now with their own interests, uni, careers ahead of them and I have no idea if they will ever use it as a resource.

And of course I write because I love to cook even though work has taken over everything (the joys of owning a small business) and love to teach even more. Simply put, it once gave me purpose. Today, it fulfils me.

Weave A Thousand Flavors became a springing board to my niche culinary travel company, WEAVE A THOUSAND JOURNEYS and as we continued to grow and expand into a luxury bespoke travel company, this blog has taken a bit of a back seat so I now post when I can.

But then out of the blue once in a while, you receive a lovely message like this one I received today from a lady, Carol-Ann W who says,

" Hi Devaki, love your recipes! I was wondering if you could repost (or send to me) your absolutely amazing shrimp etoufee recipe…..the link say it’s from 2015. I saved it in Pinterest and LOVE it, but the link says it’s no longer available. I get a 404 error message. I’ve searched your website and Facebook and couldn’t find it there either.

This is our absolute favourite recipe and I’ve tried others, but they do not measure up. Thank you for sharing the recipe…."

And just like that, the blog goes on. It's existence, validated.

So lets talk etouffee! Eh-too-ffay

One of the signature dishes to come out of Louisiana is that for good reason. It’s a dish that belongs to the same family as a fricassee and means ’smothered’ which for shrimp is a lovely thing.

When most people think of Nawlin’s cuisine, they think of a food with copious amounts of tomato sauce. Not always so! The cuisine has its roots in Cajun or Creole. Creole refers to the Spanish, European, African influences in the cuisine and is generally less robust, more use of tomatoes and less spicier if you will.

Cajun refers to the Acadian Creoles, the ethnic group are descendants of French-speakers from Acadia in what are now The Maritimes. Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture & cuisine. Their food is spicier, lesser use of tomatoes and uses several types of chilies for a balance of heat.

In fact, Cajun etoufee does not traditionally have any tomatoes but I think that adding just a tad of crushed tomatoes balances the flavors quite nicely.

At the core of many of the dishes is of course the roux – the roux is an oil & flour mixture and cooks to a color ranging from peanut butter (light roux) like in this etouffee, to medium roux (color of milk chocolate) to dark rich brown roux the color of dark chocolate as used in gumbo.

Traditionally, I’m also supposed to be making a shrimp stock from scratch but quite honestly I’ve made the effort several times and in my opinion it just doesn’t have enough of a punch & flavor unless you use shrimp heads. No shrimp heads in the kitchen today – so clam juice is always my great go-to for seafood stock. Not to mention a perfectly acceptable time-saver for a week night!

All said and done, the flavors are so much more than the sum of its parts and certainly no relative of shrimp thrown in to something akin of marinara sauce. Gasp! I’ve actually had some folks describe it as such!

Wonderful, rich, robust and incredibly flavorful with shrimp nestled in a roux based onion-celery-green bell pepper sauce, spiced with creole seasoning and plump shrimp, served over a bed of rice.

My kitchen just got a little more interesting on this Sunday morning and so should yours!



Recipe for

Shrimp Etouffee from New Orleans

Shopping list:

2 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled & deveined

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

The trinity - 2:1:1 proportion - yellow onion, to yield 2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper, to yield 1 cup finely chopped & celery, to yield 1 cup finely chopped ¼ cup crushed tomatoes (optional)

2 cups clam juice or seafood stock

4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp hot sauce

1-1/2 tsp salt

3 green Onions, thinly sliced

3 tbs Italian Parsley, finely chopped

2 tbs butter

2 tbs Creole seasoning (recipe follows at the end)

To serve:

steamed white rice


Shrimp:Season the shrimp with 1 tbs of the Creole seasoning & set aside. Onions: Peel the onion, discard the skin and the ends. Finely chop, measure and set aside.

Celery: Discard the bottom 2 inches and finely chop, measure and set aside.

Green bell pepper: Cut and discard the membranes and woody top. Finely chop, measure and set aside.


Do not skip! Keep a jar of peanut butter next to the stove for roux color reference. I kid you not.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet until very hot on medium heat. Add the flour and wish continuously until the color is exactly the shade of the peanut butter – approx. 7-8 minutes.

Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic & ½ tsp salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the clam juice or seafood stock, 1 tbs creole seasoning, salt and hot sauce. Stir to combine.

Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat to low.

Place a tight fitting lid over the pan and simmer for the next 40 minutes. Stir off and on to prevent sticking to the bottom.

Cook’s Note: The end result should a sauce the consistency of gravy, not too thick & not too thin.

Add the shrimp & green onions and cook for the next 8-10 minutes until the shrimp has cooked through and are pink.

Add the butter and parsley; stir until the butter has melted. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve over hot cooked rice.


Creole seasoning: Place these ingredients in an air-tight, dry, glass jar. Screw lid tightly, shake thoroughly to combine & use in recipes.

· 4 tbs paprika · 3 tbs granulated garlic · 2 tbs onion powder · 1 tbs ground black pepper · 2 tbs cayenne pepper · 1 tbs dried thyme leaves · 1 tbs dried oregano · 1 tbs dried basil · 2 tbs salt


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