Thursday, April 09, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Or - Look Out Pioneer Woman!!

Check out Thematic Photographic #44 - Edible

Because I fancy myself somewhat of a cook I decided to tell you what I had for dinner last night.

First of all, it's only me. If Joe were home, I'm certain he would indulge me and eat this dish, complaining that it's too rich, too many calories, not diet food etc. etc. etc. In the morning I would find the remains of the dish almost empty in the refrigerator, with the Rubbermaid top not sealed properly a casualty of "sleep eating" (which accompanies sleep walking).

We wonder why we can not loose weight.

I love watching The Food Channel and I love Paula Dean. She was cooking up an Etouffee with her BIL and I thought to myself, "That looks damn good!" I have been tweaking the recipe a little and I must say, last night I licked the bowl.

First off, I made my own fish stock. Yuck you say, and I say yuck too, but man oh man, did it make a difference. I bought a lb. bag of raw shrimp (de-headed and de-veined) at ALDI for under $4, boiled it with some Shrimp Seasoning from Kroger,drained and retained the water (and seasoning mix) and then pulled the tails and shells off and tossed them back into the brine with 1/2 cup onion, 1/2 cup celery, a squirt of lemon juice, a bay leaf and simmered it for about 45 minutes. When I finished that, I strained the fish stock and had about 2 1/2 cups (I did add water to the stock after cooking the Shrimp to make sure I had enough stock).


Take 1/2 stick of butter (Paula uses 1 whole stick y'all) and melt in a heavy pot and add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Kentucky Kernal season flour to make a roux (since I only used 1/2 stick of butter I only used about 1/2 cup of flour and later on found I had to make more roux with stock from the pot because I thought the Etouffee was not thick enough, but it was actually just right after I added the extra thickening roux). Stir constantly over a low heat until it turns a butterscotch color - maybe 30 minutes.

Chop up the following:
1/2 cup red pepper
1/2 cup green pepper
1 cup celery
1/2 cup chopped bacon
1 cup yellow onion
3/4 cup fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic minced

Roux should look like this at the beginning -

And like this at the end of 30 to 45 minutes -

When it looks beautiful like the above, stir in the veggies and bacon.

Then add the following:
1 cup beer
1 cup Half and Half
2 - 2 1/2 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
a little salt
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 good splash of Red Hot sauce
1 got shot of Worcestershire

Let simmer for 20 - 30 minutes

It will will look like this!!

Almost ready to eat! Now make rice your favorite way - instant, brown, or traditional maybe you should not wait until the end, because you know how long it takes you to make rice, about 30 minutes if not instant.

I cooked the shrimp before so I do not throw it in the pot. I do not like my shrimp to shrivel up. So when it is all finished and done, smells Divine and a taste test tells me it's time, I put the rice on the bottom of the bowl, add the shrimp from my refrigerator and pour the hot Etouffee over all - the shrimp heats up fast!

And TA-DA Plate Licking Good

(disclaimer - Pioneer Woman I am not, my pots are OLD and look like it!)
(You can sub. bottles of Calm Juice, I think Paula used 4 bottles, and Cajun seasoning is red pepper, onion salt, garlic salt, black pepper etc..)


Martha said...

Oh yum!!! You should link this up to Carmi's photo challenge - the link is on blog :-)

Monica said...

Paula Dean is one person I love watching and I really don't watch the food network/ SHe's had soem stuff that had my mouth watering.

This looks good. When you make it again, give us all a warning so we can get over for dinner! :-) It will save the night eating ya know.


Nelle said...

Firstly, while I may love Pioneer Woman's recipes I hate that she has all these things that I have never been able to afford (or ok I was just too cheap to buy) like a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I also envy her counter tops and those blue Italian platters..and truth be told her red hair. This does look really good but I think the carbs would be really high for me. I like Paula Dean she is just REAL.

Beth said...

Mmm, sounds delish. I've made jambalaya and gumbo from scratch, but I've never made an étoufée from scratch. One thing I would say is with any of these types of dishes, NEVER use instant rice. I've really gotten away from it, even though it's so convenient, because the flavor is just so blah. The last time I made instant rice, both Ken and I were like, "Yuck," and decided it kind of tasted like cardboard. "Real" rice has so much more flavor! (And it's a lot cheaper, too!)


Meadowlark said...

Looks tasty. Have never been able to make a proper "brown roux". At least now I have a color to go by.

And I want some of that "Calm" juice you're peddling. Isn't that WINE? It makes ME calm!!! :)

Chris said...


It looks great! Nicely done.

Cynthia said...

Oh man, that looks good.

g said...

Can I come over?

Carmi said...

You are a seriously incredible cook! I'm so glad you followed Martha's suggestion and posted this to Thematic Photographic. I can't wait to see what else you have cooking!

g said...

Good recipe for fish stock. Much better than "clam juice." (yuck).

Lori said...


bb mcclain said...

Damn that looks good!