We are great fans of all things Cajun: the food, the music and the people. When Burk’s in Ballard closed years ago, it left a huge void in our dining routine. It was at that point we started making Cajun food at home. Our version of Shrimp and Grits is inspired by a dish at one of Dave’s favorite restaurants, The Cajun Queen, in Charlotte, NC, as well as recipes from Emeril and John Besh. We first posted this about a year ago. We wanted to update it with better photos. Enjoy!
Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Etouffee
6 Tablespoons High Heat Oil
1/2 cup flour
2 Cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 tablespoons salt free Cajun seasoning
1 Tablespoon marjoram
1 quart seafood stock – homemade or Kitchen Basics
1 15oz. can diced, fire roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-4 Andouille sausage (we love Whole Foods version)
1/2 cup sliced green onion for garnish
Chop all your vegetables and set aside in a bowl. Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly to make a roux. Continue to cook until the roux is the color of milk chocolate. Do not turn up the heat and rush this process as it can burn quickly. This process should take 7-9 minutes.
Add the chopped vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cayenne, marjoram and Cajun seasoning. Cook for about 3 minutes and then stir in the seafood stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. While the etouffee is simmering, grill the sausages. (This adds a wonderful depth of flavor. You can brown them in a frying pan, if you’d rather not grill them.) You do not need to cook them all the way through, you are just getting color on them.
Let the sausages settle about 10 minutes after removing them from the grill. Slice into bite size slices. Add them to the etouffee and continue to simmer very low for another hour or more. (The longer the better as the sauce reduces and thickens and the flavors concentrate.) Taste for seasoning. You may need to add salt, pepper, additional cayenne. About 30 minutes before serving, prepare the grits. Add the shrimp into the pot 5-7 minutes before serving. Simmer gently – do not boil, as you will over cook the shrimp.
Stone Ground White Grits with White Cheddar Cheese
We love the Stone Ground White Grits from Geechie Boy Mill, Edisto Island, SC. (You can order them on-line.) John Besh loves them too, as we received a new package in our February Besh Box!
To prepare the grits
Heat 3 cups of milk, 2 Tablespoons of butter and one teaspoon of salt to a slow simmer. Add in 1 cup of grits. Bring back to a simmer, cover and cook about 20 minutes.
Add 1 cup grated, sharp white cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup sliced green onion, at the end of the cooking process.
To serve, place a small scoop of grits on a plate and add a spoonful of the etouffee. Garnish with sliced green onion.