Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Etouffe Redux

I made a shrimp etouffe this past week and this time, I added a new twist I wish I'd thought of a long time ago. Instead of adding 2 cups Chicken Broth as called for in the recipe I posted back in July 2005, I used the shells from the shrimp and made a simple shrimp stock. Be careful, though! Shrimp stock can be powerful stuff and a little goes a long way!

I had the shell from 1 pound of shrimp, which I put in a medium stock pot and covered with water. I added some of the darker outer peel of the yellow onion I was about to use for the etouffe to give it a richer color (I think I saw that on an old "Frugal Gourmet" show), then got the mixture to a boil. After a minute or so of boiling, I lowered the heat to simmer for about a half hour (longer, perhaps an hour, would have been nice, but I was hungry!). I then let the stock sit for a few minutes and poured off the top clear portion into a measuring cup. Running it through a piece of cheesecloth would work well, too.

When I made the etoufe, instead of 2 cups of broth (16 ounces), I added 14 ounces of broth and 2 ounces of the fresh shrimp stock.

WOW! This gave the etoufe a much more complex and rich flavor with than before.

I froze the remaining half cup of stock for future use.

I also found this link on the Tabasco site outlining the process, and is pretty close to how I did it. Other recipes for shrimp stock get much fancier, and probably will have an even richer flavor, but for now, I'm stickin' to simple.


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