What really makes this dish unique is its hearty, flavorful sauce. Made with sautéed onion, bell pepper, and celery (known as the holy trinity of Cajun cooking), seasoned flour, tomato paste, and beef stock, it coats the shrimp perfectly and is delicious over white or brown rice.
Although the beef stock is not a common pairing for shellfish, its rich, umami quality is what sets this dish apart from other shrimp and rice recipes.
We did a little research and found what we think might be the original version of this recipe on LouisianaSeafood.com.
Called Shrimp Delicate, the recipe was sent to us by readers (thank you Pat and Melanie) who enjoyed it so much during a trip to Baton Rouge, they wanted us to share it with all our visitors.
What is étouffée?
Because the sauce is the star of this recipe, we would call it an étouffée. Ever wonder how étouffée differs from other classic Cajun and Creole dishes like gumbo and jambalaya?
Here’s a brief summary that can help you sort out the details when you’re looking to give one a try.
- Étouffée: Loosely translated, the word étouffée means smothered in French. Generally, this dish will be made with some type of seafood (most often crayfish) that’s been simmered in a roux-thickened sauce flavored with bell pepper, onion, and celery and served over rice.
- Gumbo: A gumbo derives its distinctive flavor from a dark roux and can be made with a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables, but most gumbo recipes include okra, tomatoes, and onions as well as some type of sausage or ham.
- Jambalaya: Jambalaya is a classic dish similar to a Spanish paella as it combines cooked rice with a variety of meats and vegetables. Tomatoes, onions, and green peppers are common ingredients, but the dish is very versatile and varies from cook to cook.
More popular shrimp recipes:
Louisiana Style Shrimp and Rice
- 1-1/4 lbs large shrimp, peeled (tails left on) and deveined
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef stock
- 3 to 4 scallions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
For the seasoned flour mix:
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- Pinch of cayenne
- Make the seasoned flour blend by combining the flour, paprika, oregano, onion powder, celery seed, and cayenne in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the celery and bell pepper and continue cooking for 2 minutes longer.
- Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more, then sprinkle the seasoned flour mixture over the entire pan.
- Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the flour is lightly browned.
- Stir in the tomato paste and combine well.
- Whisk in the beef broth and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened to a gravy consistency.
- Add the shrimp and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they turn pink and opaque, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the scallions and parsley, reserving a bit of each for garnish if desired.
- Combine well and remove from the heat.
- Serve over steamed white or brown rice.