Étouffée is a Creole and Cajun dish typically served with shellfish or chicken over rice and is similar to gumbo. It is most popular in New Orleans and in the bayou country of the southernmost half of Louisiana.
In French, the word "étouffée" (borrowed into english as "stoved") means, literally, "smothered" or "suffocated", from the verb "étouffer".
The base of an étouffée is either a dark brown-red roux, a blonde roux (a roux that isn't browned as much) or simply onions cooked down in butter. Like many Louisiana dishes, onions, green peppers and celery (a combination often referred to as the holy trinity) form the base of an étouffée. It is usually seasoned with cayenne pepper, white pepper, garlic, and salt and has a thicker consistency than gumbo. A crawfish étouffée, if made with a roux, usually has a reddish color sometimes attributed to crawfish fat (an important ingredient), which is untrue. Crawfish fat is bright yellow, and will not color the dish red. The red color comes from the dark brown-red roux. Seasonings the crawfish were boiled in could also give the dish a red tint. There is typically no tomato in this dish. However, in some areas it has become popular to add tomatoes or tomato paste to the dish. However, most purists believe that once tomatoes are added, the dish ceases to be a true étouffée, and instead becomes a stew or a creole. In many parts of the country, outside of Louisiana, people make étouffée with cream; however, cream is never part of a Louisiana étouffée.
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 pound cleaned shrimp
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a saucepan, combine margarine, onion, green onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. When soft stir in parsley, tomato paste, soup, shrimp, salt, hot pepper sauce and cayenne. Heat until mixture thickens. Serve over white rice.
In a 2 quart microwave safe dish, combine margarine, onion, green onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Heat on High settings for 8 to 9 minutes.
Stir in parsley, tomato paste, soup, shrimp, salt, hot pepper sauce and cayenne. Heat on High setting for 5 minutes. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Serve over white rice.
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