Shrimp Etouffee

You can eat it over potatoes
You can eat it over rice
You can eat it over almost anything
And it will always turn out nice!

Thats my philosophy when it comes to this little something that will warm you right to the core. Itís the perfect respite from the bitter cold of winter. I first made it as a lunch menu item at my restaurant in Maryland. Being situated on the Chesapeake Bay, I of course, added crab meat to it, but that stuff is expensive and hard to find fresh. I just stuck with the shrimp but feel free to big chef it up anyway you want. I give you the foundation, you add the fun.

BONUS: Check out the video of this recipe on You tube!

11/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp ap flour
1 cup shrimp stock (recipe follows)
1 ea large red pepper chopped
1 ea large white onion chopped
3 ea stalks of celery chopped
3 tbsp fresh garlic minced
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
2 tbsp Old Bay Crab seasoning (or watch the video to learn how to make mine)
1/4 cup Crystal Hot Sauce
1 tbsp Tabasco
1 lbs large shrimp peeled, cleaned, tailless and cut into thirds (save shells and tails for stock!)

First step is to make the shrimp stock. Simply throw all the peels and tails from the shrimp into a small pot. Cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes or so. A little longer is not a problem but not less that 20 minutes

While that is simmering, place a heavy bottomed 6 quart sauce pot over medium high heat.

Add butter. When melted add flour and mix together with wooden spoon to form a roux.

Cook the roux until it resembles creamy peanut butter and then add the onion, carrots and celery.

Saute vegetables in the roux for about 5 minutes.

add shrimp stock while constantly stirring with wooden spoon. A nice thick sauce should form. If itís too thick for your liking add more stock.

Next, add the garlic,fresh tomatoes, hot sauces and Old Bay seasoning and stir to incorporate Turn down heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. If you like your vegetables a little softer, cook for 15 minutes add shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes.

And thats all she wrote! enjoy!

P.S. Like any soup or stew, it is always better the next day!

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