Cooking Light is not a magazine I am drawn to, but when a stack appeared in my office, I couldn't keep my hands off of them. I am inherently suspicious of Cooking Light recipes, especially when the intro touts the line "couldn't tell the difference between the regular and the lightened version."
But ever since my friend from South Carolina lent me his Pat Conroy cookbook, I've been thinking of shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, soft shell crabs, and other Southern dishes. My recent Jambalaya made someone suggest Etoufee, which means 'smothered.'
So when I saw the Shrimp Etoufee recipe in Cooking Light, it fit right into my culinary preoccupation.
I think I made several changes to this recipe that negated its lightness - I didn't use low-fat, reduced sodium broth or salt-free Cajun seasoning and I probably upped the butter and added some olive oil in the vegetable sauteing step. And I served my favorite cheddar biscuits with this (definitely not light).
After my jambalaya post prompted people to email me a REAL jambalaya recipe, I feel I must disclaim several things: this is a Cooking Light recipe - I have no idea it's connection to authentic Cajun food, as I am from Maryland. But it tasted good up here in Maine.
Adapted from Cooking Light
4 cups chicken broth (or half veggie, half beef)*
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2/3 cup celery, diced
1 cup red pepper, chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt-free Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cups green onions
1/2 cup parsley, divided
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cover and remove from heat.
In another small sauce pot or skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add flour to pan and cook until very brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add 1 cup broth and whisk until smooth. Add remaining 3 cups of broth, stirring until smooth.
Melt one tablespoon plus one teaspoon of butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and peppers. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of pan (I substituted home canned crushed tomatoes for water and paste and it turned out fine).
Add tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper; cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add broth-flour mixture and Worcestershire sauce, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
Add green onions, 1/4 cup parsley, and shrimp. Cook 3 minutes until shrimp are done. Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice with sprinkles of remaining parsley.
Yield: about 6 servings
*I learned that when making broth from Better than Bouillon, that chicken can be approximated by equal parts veggie and beef bouillon. Carrot + cow = chicken?