Ragin’ Cajun for Dinner: Étouffée w/Cauliflower Rice

Ragin’ Cajun for Dinner: Étouffée w/Cauliflower Rice

Creole Menu Tonight — YUM!

A trip to N’awlins is all about the food. Ragin’ Cajun everything from cocktails to seafood. Étouffée is one of my favorite dishes. It begins with a slowly cooked roux that deepens the nutty, rich quality of the sauce. A simple spice mix creates the distinct flavor, and a trinity of finely chopped onion, celery and pepper is the tradition. I like to chop the shrimp so that each piece swims in the sauce. Instead of a scoop of rice, I use my favorite cauliflower rice to further the veggie quotient in the dish. It all comes together in minutes, so it’s perfect for a weekday meal.

Shrimp Étouffée

With a Scoopful of Cauliflower Rice

Serves 4

40 Minute Cuisine

When company comes a callin’, feel free to double the recipe and let it simmer until you’re ready to serve. Just remember to add the shrimp at the last minute.

For Cauliflower:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ head cauliflower, trimmed and finely chopped into rice-size pieces (you can use a food processor for this)
1 to 2 cups homemade chicken stock or prepared low sodium broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For Étouffée:
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 medium red onion, finely diced
4 celery stalks, finely diced
½ green bell pepper, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 ounces diced tomatoes
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of ½ lemon, about 1 tablespoon
4 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce
¾ pounds fresh jumbo shrimp, (21 – 25 shrimp per pound), previously frozen, thawed, tails removed, chopped into ½-inch pieces
3 green onions, finely sliced

Heat two tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower in the melted butter to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of the chicken broth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the cauliflower until it is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. As the liquid disappears add more (a little bit at a time) until the cauliflower is as tender as rice.

Stir together the paprika, garlic powder, thyme, oregano and black pepper in a small bowl.

Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk the flour into the butter and cook until the roux becomes caramel colored, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Season with half of the spice mix. Cook until the veggies are soft, about 10 minutes more. Pour in the tomatoes and clam juice. Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce is thick, about 5 to 8 minutes more. Add the lemon juice and as much hot pepper sauce as you like. Taste and season with salt.

Toss the chopped shrimp with the remaining spice mix. Add the shrimp to the sauce. Cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes.

Serve shrimp etouffee in a shallow bowl with a scoop of cauliflower rice in the center, and garnish with green onion.

Christmas New Orleans Style with this Yummy Stew!

Christmas New Orleans Style with this Yummy Stew!

It’s a Christmas gift in and of itself: slowly simmered spicy sausage marries okra, chicken and shrimp in this pot of perfection. Red beans and rice complete the Bourbon street experience. I can think of no better DISH OF THE DAY when company is on their way; this is a weekend feast, you’ll want to prepare on Friday, so that when your weary travelers appear, you’re covered!

My recipe for N’awlins Jambalaya Stew recommends the perfect andouille sausage. It’s got just the right ratio of the Cajun holy trinity: savory onions, bell peppers and celery. On a cold night, there really isn’t anything better than this very specific type of heat! Warm your bellies and enhance your kitchen with oodles of recipes just as good, when you use my cookbook throughout the new year! Merry Christmas, everyone — thank you for being part of the SUNDAY BEST release. It’s not the best — YOU ARE!

N’awlins Jambalaya Stew


½ cup olive oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, peeled and chopped, about 2 cups
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and diced, about 2 cups
4 celery stalks, diced, about 2 cups
8 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
2 cups home made chicken broth, or prepared low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds Andouille sausage, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (10-ounce) package frozen okra
1 (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans
2 cups uncooked rice
2 pounds fresh jumbo shrimp, about 21 to 25 per pound
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk until the roux is bubbling and turns a dark mustardy color, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the onion, peppers, celery and garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour in the sherry and add the thyme and bay leaves. Stir in the tomatoes, clam juice, chicken broth, tomato paste and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, chicken, okra and beans. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Add the rice and shrimp to the pot and cook until the shrimp turn opaque, and the rice is plump, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls and dig in!