Feb 7, 2010

In Honor Of New Orleans Super Bowl Appearance

Abigail and Dolley readers may know that I promised that we would not always be political here - so in the spirit of the NO Saints making an appearance at the Super Bowl, I wanted to share my Seafood Etouffee recipe.

When my husband and I lived in Houston, I was introduced to Cajun food on a grand scale and it quickly became one of my favorite cuisines. This recipe can easily be turned into a gumbo by adding broth and okra, (and file' if you can find it, although I am not very fond of the ground sassafras root myself) thus turning the etouffee from a thick sauce/rice topping to a soup.

There are two secrets to this wonderfulness:

1. Take your time with the roux it should be cocoa brown.
2. Use the seafood juices to flavor the recipe

I also like it because the seafood is flexible, you can use shrimp, crawfish, crab, clams, mussels, oysters - whatever in it. I often use canned clams, oysters, and crab because they are cheap and tasty, but also because I add the liquid to the mixture. I also use frozen shrimp, mussels, and crawfish - they are inexpensive and in a dish like this you can not tell the difference.

1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. veggie oil
2/3 c. flour
1/8 c. of Emeril's Essence (check the internet for ingredients)
3 bell peppers (mix the colors for a pretty dish and complex flavor) - chopped
4 big stalks of celery - chopped
1 lg onion - chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional - Texas Pete or Tabasco

Chop your peppers, celery and onions and put in a large bowl. Mix the Essence in with the veggies and set aside.

In a large pot, mix oils and flour together to make the roux. Over medium heat, stir constantly until it is a deep velvet brown. This takes a while. Don't let it burn, there is a difference - trust me.

Once the roux is the right color add the chopped veggies and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the can of tomatoes with the juice and simmer. If you are using any canned seafood, open the cans and drain the juice into the pot. Let simmer and reduce to a gravy like consistency. If you have any raw seafood add that first and cook until almost done, add the rest and simmer a few minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for about an hour or refrigerate and eat later.

Serve over rice with a big piece of crusty french bread slathered in butter and a simple salad. For a real treat make a pitcher of Hurricanes and then run down the street showing your boobs to the neighbors for beads!

Hey, it's New Orleans, right?