Sunday, September 15, 2019

Welcome Ellen Byron!










A very warm welcome to Ellen Byron today! This recipe will leave you craving Cajun food. I'm wondering if I have any shrimp in the freezer!

Don't miss Ellen's Giveaway at the end of this post!








PELICAN, LOUISIANA – THE ST. MARY MEAD of CAJUN COUNTRY

Today is the birthday of the author to whom I credit my passion for mysteries – Dame Agatha Christie. I like to describe Pelican, the fiction town in my Cajun Country Mystery series, as a Cajun Brigadoon. But it’s also a Louisiana version of Miss Marple’s village, St. Mary Mead. A lovely, bucolic setting with a disproportionate number of murders. It’s a place you’d love to visit… as long as you stay out of trouble.

Dame Agatha didn’t include recipes in her books, which might have something to do with England’s then-reputation for lackluster cuisine. I faced a different problem. I’m not a cook by nature – maybe Agatha wasn’t either – but how could I not include recipes when I’m writing about a region famous for its cuisine?

When I was musing about what recipes I might add to FATAL CAJUN FESTIVAL, my latest Cajun Country Mystery, Shrimp Etouffee quickly came to mind. “Etouffee” literally means “smothered” in French. In Cajun cooking, that translates to a delicious dish of shrimp or crawfish smothered in a veggie-laden sauce.

The recipe I created is definitely more Cajun than Creole because it doesn’t include tomatoes, a staple of many Creole dishes. This really lets the flavors of the “Holy Trinity” of Cajun cooking – onions, green pepper, and celery – stand out. Plus, it’s easy to make but looks impressive. Guests will think you spent hours slaving over a hot stove!

Oh, how I wish I could have served this dish to Agatha Christie to thank her for setting me on a path that changed my life.

Ingredients:
½ lb. butter or light butter
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
¼ cup chopped celery
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. dried parsley flakes
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. Cajun Seasoning, like Tony Chachere’s
1 T. flour (or 2 T. if you want to thicken the sauce more)
1 cup either shrimp stock, crawfish stock, chicken stock, or water
1 lb. peeled shrimp or peeled crawfish tails
6 cups cooked white rice

Instructions:
Using medium to high heat, melt the butter in a heavy, large skillet. Add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic, parsley, salt, and Cajun seasoning. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, then reduce the heat a bit and cook until the onion softens. Add the flour, stirring well. As soon as the flour is absorbed, add the stock slowly until you’ve added it all to the mixture, stirring well to combine. Simmer the mixture until it bubbles, add the shrimp or crawfish, and stir well. Bring the mixture to a bubble again,  then reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and simmer the etouffe for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over 1 cup of white rice per serving. Or…

Except for the butter, this recipe is pretty low-calorie. If you want to make it even more so, served it over riced cauliflower instead of rice.

Also, have hot sauce handy for anyone who prefers their Cajun food with a kick!

Serves 6.










 





 
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97 comments:

  1. Welcome to MLK Ellen and congrats on the new mystery! The shrimp look delish and I'd love to be invited to dinner with Dame Agatha:)

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    1. Thanks so much, Lucy! I'm proud of myself for this recipe. An adaptation that worked! (Unlike some movie versions of Agatha books, lol)

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  2. I have enjoyed all the other books in this series. The family is full of fun. suefoster109 at gmail dot com

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  3. I love this series! The etouffee dish looks delicious and sounds easy enough that I could make it. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Chris! And this recipe IS easy to make. Enjoy!

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  4. That looks so great. I love all the recipes in Ellen's books.

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    1. What a compliment, coming from one of my favorite authors!

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  5. Great looking recipe. Adding this book to my must read list.

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  6. An amazing series! Thank you for entertaining all of us! Already on my list. =) konecny7(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I love recipes like this, and thank you for offering the giveaway.
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Ellen, I prefer Cajun over Creole and LOVE Shrimp Etouffe. My husband adds Golden Mushroom Soup to ours. My favorite, cause I get to eat all the mushrooms! Thankyou for the great recipe. minishoes(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. Oooh, sounds delicious. I prefer Cajun, too. But ssshhh... don't tell all my NOLA friends!

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  10. AM
    I use to labor making etouffee from scratch, then I found Louisiana Fish Fry's crawfish etouffee mix. Use a can of chicken stock for some of the liquid and you have an easy delicious meal. Love your books. Would love my own copy of your latest. rgp1950@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks so much for the great tip. I love all the shortcuts out there, like Tony Chachere's dry Roux mix. Good luck!

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    2. Tony’s is my go to seasoning, always.

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  11. That looks yummy! robinswebhotmailcom

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  12. I used to eat Cajun in Texas...thank you for the new recipe. I am happy you mentioned Agatha Christie, one of my favorite Authors. Thank you for the contest.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  13. I’m just starting to read cozy mysteries and I absolutely love them. Love your book cover and the recipe sounds delicious. I’d really enjoy reading this. Thank you for the chance.

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    1. Welcome to the cozy community, Jeanne! We're thrilled to have you.

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  14. Your series is delightful and this dish enticing. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely compliment! I hope you get to make this recipe.

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  15. Address for my above comment is jeanne2@uakron.edu

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