The Gleeful Gourmand: Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler!

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday" - a time when the party rages before crashing dramatically (at least in New Orleans) into the long, somber, penitent days of Lent. In the Episcopalian Church (as well as Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic), we call it Shrove Tuesday, and usually get the party on with a pancake supper. Isn't that quaint? I used to think so. And then about five years ago my brother and sister-in-law moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Being the awesome people they are, they immersed themselves in the Cajun and Creole culture down there and experienced it all, blessedly passing along all the culinary delights they discovered. Having now experienced what Mardi Gras can really be like (complete with Boudin and King's Cake), a pancake supper is not going to cut it. In fact, so dedicated are we to the Cajun and Creole culinary experience during this time of the year, we are actually celebrating twice. Well, that, and because due to scheduling conflicts we can't actually get our party on tomorrow, but rather next Saturday.

So this weekend Buck made his famous Shrimp Etouffée, which we ate with Jasmine rice and a sourdough baguette to sop up all the delicious sauce. And thanks to a screwup at Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge, my mom wound up with an extra King's Cake, which she generously shared with us yesterday. Etouffée takes a long time to make, and takes some good prep work, but is not difficult to make. I promise once you taste it, you will be shouting "Laissez le bon temps rouler!" (let the good times roll!) from the rooftops. Next Saturday my sister-in-law is making Gumbo Ya-Ya, and I cannot wait. Saturday can't come fast enough!

Shrimp Etouffée
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup dry white wine
8 ounces clam juice
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (can also use frozen shrimp)
Hot cooked rice

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter; stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Stir in green onions, chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and basil. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring often for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Increase heat to high and add tomato sauce, wine, clam juice, water, worcestershire sauce, white pepper, and Tabasco; stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes or until thickened and reduced to 4 1/2 cups. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and shrimp. Simmer approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Remove from heat and serve over hot cooked rice.

5 comments :

Kirsten said...

That sounds wonderful. I have shrimp in the freezer I was planning on using for Shrimp Creole but I might have to try your recipe!

Kiki said...

That does sound great! I tend to like Jambalaya only because it takes less hands-on work (other than chopping in the beginning). I tend to burn roux. But Rob loves sauce so I may have to try this one soon! Also, we may be eating in New Orleans soon! :)

Jenna said...

I'm telling you, it's worth it. Although it's one of Buck's favorite things to make, I've made it a few times myself and found it relatively easy, despite the time it takes.

Eating in New Orleans! Yay! Yay! Yay! :)

Kristen said...

Jenna - Looks great! Will have to try it some time. ONe question though. the directions mention wine, but yo don't have it in the ingredient list. red or white, and how much?

-K

Jenna said...

Oh my gosh, I am so glad you caught that!!! I edited it, and it's in there now: 1 cup of dry white wine. Gah, that's why I hate transposing recipes sometimes. ;)

Thanks again!

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