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Cajun Shrimp Stew

Cajun Shrimp Stew

This comforting, simple stew is a Cajun dish that many home cooks in Louisiana enjoy, especially during the Lenten season. It is easy to make and feeds a bunch. The trick is getting the roux to the right color . . . about a notch darker than peanut butter should do the trick. A homemade shrimp stock makes all the difference in the world. Make sure to add the shrimp just before serving so that they stay nice and tender. Some families boil eggs in their shrimp stew (as it simmers) to make the dish even heartier.
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Cajun
Keyword cajun shrimp stew, easy dinner recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 581 kcal
Author Reprinted with permission from Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 up minced garlic about 12 cloves
  • 10 cups Rich Shrimp Stock page 173
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 3 large large baking potatoes 2 ½ to 3 pounds, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds small or medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion green part only
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Steamed long-grain white rice for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the flour. Whisk to combine and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until a medium roux is formed (it should look a bit darker than peanut butter), about 10 minutes. (If the roux begins to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and take your time—it is important that the roux not be burned at all or the stew will have a bitter taste.) As soon as the roux is the right color, add the chopped onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, little by little, and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Add the bay leaves, black pepper, cayenne, thyme, and 4 teaspoons of the salt and reduce the heat so that the sauce just simmers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the floury taste is gone, 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful, 30 to 40 minutes longer. (Add a bit of water or chicken broth to thin the gravy should the stew get too thick during the cook time. The sauce is meant to be thick and rich but not pasty.)
  3. Toss the shrimp with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir the shrimp, green onion, and parsley into the stew and continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the bay leaves. Serve the stew in shallow bowls over hot white rice.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information does not include rice or shrimp stock.