I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Real Cajun Etouffee ~ Becky Turner Style

With this being the third Creole/Cajun themed dish that I've posted in as many weeks, it appears that I've subconsciously been in the mood for low country cuisine.  Most people initially associate Creole or Cajun dishes with spiciness and while they can certainly contain an element of heat, the dishes are mostly composed of several layers of complex flavors derived from the combination of  various ethnic backgrounds.  Most are roux-based and use spices and seasonings that are not typically used in everyday cooking.

Earlier in the week I posted a tribute to the lovely Becky Shauberger Turner and this post is dedicated to her as well.  It was hard for me to choose just one recipe from Becky's website so I chose several to pay homage to her.  Becky's home state was Louisiana and she grew up eating Creole cuisine so she was well versed in preparing it as well.  This recipe for Cajun Etouffee was prepared for her by her sister during a time when she wasn't feeling well.  The recipe came together quickly and easily with few ingredients but it was loaded with deep, rich flavors.  Where the recipe states "add water to cover," I used about 6 cups but in retrospect I should have stopped with 4 or 5.  My etouffee was a bit thin but it was still delicious.  I only had 4 pounds of shrimp on hand, so if you use the full 5 pounds, you may in fact need 6 cups of water.  Just use your best judgement. 

My etouffee was served in pink and blue Fiestaware, no doubt just the way Becky would have served it up.  

Real Cajun Étouffée

1 1/4 cups oil
1 cup flour
4 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
5 pounds peeled and cleaned crawfish tails or shrimp
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 lemon, juiced
8 cups hot, cooked rice

Make a roux of oil and flour. Cook it until tan, not brown. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, salt and cayenne. Stir over low heat until vegetables are tender. Add crawfish or shrimp, and water to cover. Add green onions and parsley. Turn up heat, cover and bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and cook about 15 minutes. Add bay leaf and lemon juice. Stir and let stand 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve over rice.

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