Tasty Tuesday brings a delicious Cajun dish, Shrimp Étouffée, by romance author Linda Joyce. Boy, does this sound delicious! I know her stories are tantalizing. Take it away, Linda!
By way of introduction, let me begin by saying I’m a southern gal and my heritage is Asian-Cajun-Irish. I love food as much as I love books. My husband and I have organic raised beds and grow vegetables—he supplies the green thumb. I supply the cooking. I have one bed dedicated solely to herbs. I make enough pesto with my organic basil to freeze and last me through the winter. I love farm-to-table restaurants, trying new food combinations, and discovering new flavor profiles. Let’s face it, if you watch any cooking shows, even cupcakes are getting into the act with daring combinations.
When it comes to my books, my characters usually eat what I eat. For example, in Behind the Mask, Chalise Boudreau’s favorite food is Shrimp Étouffée. In Bayou Bound, Biloxi Dutrey can’t get enough of Red Beans and Rice. I haven’t written a character yet who craves sushi, but it’s coming. The Irish part of me blends well with the Japanese and Cajun—Irish seafood, I’m told, is exceptional. All parts of me love oysters and prawns.
But you might be wondering, just exactly how I chose which food to mention in my books. It’s a closely guarded secret—not. It’s simple: my stomach is in charge of the picking. In Behind the Mask, Chalise’s Shrimp Étouffée was served to her at her first romantic dinner date with Chaz Riboucheaux because it’s what I had for supper. In the book, Chaz remembers from years ago that it was her favorite, and he has the chef make it just for Chalise.
In my recipe for Shrimp Étouffée, I’ve included a few notes to help the preparation go smoothly. When reading over the instructions, if you have questions, please let me know.
As you can see from the list of ingredients, though this is a Cajun dish, there’s a nod to my heritage in the shrimp—Irish (and Cajun of course), and the short grain rice—Japanese.
One last little note about the ingredients: flour for the roux. I use gluten-free flour. In my family, I’m known for my gravy. It always begins with a roux. My husband will tell you he could eat my gravy like soup. (My secret is I add a bit of cream sherry and cook off the alcohol, leaving just the richness of flavor.) When I make it, he puts it on everything. Yep, even vegetables like carrots and peas. I’ve tried many types of gluten-free flours to make roux with varying degrees of success (okay, most of them were failures), however, this is the one that most closely gives me the consistency and flavor I seek—Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour by Bob’s Red Mill. And if gluten isn’t an issue for you, then any all-purpose flour will work.
Happy Reading and Bon Appetite!
By Linda Joyce
4-6 servings of cooked rice (Since I’m Asian-Cajun-Irish, I use Japanese short grain rice, but please use what you prefer.)
2 pounds shrimp already shelled and deveined (I do buy frozen large shrimp in the bag when I am unable to get them fresh.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup of butter for roux
(Another 1/4 cup at end of dish. See instructions)
1/2 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, chopped (equal amount of onion)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika – optional
1 pint seafood stock (or add bottled or canned clam juice)
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
Salt (only as needed because Cajun Seasoning usually contains it.)
3 green onions chopped
Hot sauce (Crystal is my choice) to taste
1) Cook your rice as you normally would now so it will be ready when Étouffée is ready.
2) Make roux – melt butter with oil, then add flour in heavy frying pan. I use cast iron. Don’t let the flour burn. Cook low and slow. Whisk continuously. There are videos on YouTube about how to make a roux if a visual helps. Cooking takes about 15 minutes. You want a nutty aroma.
3) Add onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic to roux. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. You want vegetables to be limp. Add the black and white pepper, Cajun seasoning, green onions, and parsley. Stir together.
4) Add seafood stock and tomatoes with juice to the mixture above. Stir together.
5) Bring the mixture just to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. You’re looking for the consistency of gravy.
6) Taste for salt. Add if needed.
7) Add shrimp. It will take 3-6 minutes to cook. Don’t overcook! Then remove from heat.
8) Stir in final 1/4 cup of butter and mix well.
9) Serve over warm rice.
Former model Chalise Boudreau returns to Louisiana after ten years and faces an uncertain future. Watching her budget, she’s living with her mother and plans to open a luxury salon, but she fears the community sees her homecoming as a failing, and she knows any malicious gossip will jeopardize her success.
Once bad-boy, now entrepreneur Chaz Riboucheaux is home and trying to rebuild his old reputation. He believes one of his companies, the Magnolia May, a pirate ship, can make Ascension a tourist destination, but the mayor refuses to grant him a lease at the city’s dock.
Chalise and Chaz come face to face at a Twelfth Night party. Years ago, he stood her up and left her brokenhearted. Now her brain is at war with her heart, but her body has a mind of its own. As Chaz leads her across the dance floor, he knows when the music stops it won’t be the end of their waltz. He has questions only she can answer, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants.
Amazon Best Selling author and 4-time RONE Award Finalist, Linda Joyce writes about assertive females and the men who can’t resist them. She has penned the Fleur de Lis series, Fleur de Lis Brides series, and the first book in her Sunflower series. Her other books include Behind the Mask and Christmas Bells. She has more books in the works.
A big fan of jazz and blues, Linda attributes her love of music to her southern roots, which run deep in Louisiana. Courtesy of her father’s Air Force career, she has lived coast to coast in the U.S. and wrote her first manuscript when she was twelve while living in Japan. In addition to being a book addict, Linda’s a foodie, an RVer, loves to kayak, and binge watch movies. Now she lives in Atlanta with her husband and General Beauregard, their four-legged boy who thinks Linda is his pet.
You can find Linda at http://www.linda-joyce.com/
Awesome and tempting recipe! I really enjoyed Behind the Mask when it came out last year. Linda’s stories have an exotic feel to them because of the locations where they are set and the intriguing characters she’s brought to the page. I hope you enjoy both.
Linda is the last guest author for a few months as I transition to a new Tasty Tuesday series of recipes. Look for the introduction of my new cooking related series next week. I think you’ll find it interesting and maybe even inspiring!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!
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