Growing up in Louisiana had enormous impact on my childhood culinary experience. Mama didn’t know anyone when we first moved there, so she immersed herself in the cuisine to learn the culture. She bought copies of Junior League cookbooks bound in plastic ring binders. My sister and I grew up eating étoufée, gumbo, and jambalaya -- and learned how to suck crawfish heads just like a native. Perhaps the best part of this recipe is that it can be a weeknight supper in less than 30 minutes. Laissez les bons temps rouler! Excerpt and recipe from Lighten Up, Y'all (Ten Speed Press, 2015). —Food52
pure olive oil
unbleached all-purpose flour
sweet onion, chopped
stalk of celery, diced
small green bell pepper, diced
cloves of garlic, finely chopped
homemade chicken stock or reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
large shrimp (21/25 count), shelled and deveined
fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Coarse kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Cooked long grain white or jasmine brown rice, for accompaniment
green onions, trimmed and chopped
In This Recipe
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring often, until the roux is pale brown, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds.
In small bowl, combine the tomato paste and stock. Add the stock mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened and the flavors have married, about 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp, parsley, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon over hot rice, garnish with green onions, and serve immediately.