Shrimp and Crabmeat Étouffée

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Photo by Denny Culbert

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8-12 servings

  • 1½ pounds salted butter or margarine
  • 1 pound Louisiana Gulf shrimp (36–40 count), peeled and deveined large onions, diced
  • 1½ green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 tablespoons seafood or chicken base (if you have fresh shrimp simply boil the shells after peeling to render one cup of stock)
  • 6 cups shrimp stock (or water)
  • Salt and pepper to taste, or approximately 2 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning salt blend
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • 1 pound Louisiana crabmeat, regular lump
  • 1 pound Louisiana crab claw meat
  • 1–2 tablespoons cornstarch to thicken as needed
  • 4 cups Louisiana white rice
  1. Melt butter in a pan and sauté shrimp for no longer than 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from butter, allow shrimp to cool, and reserve.
  2. Add onions and bell peppers to butter. Allow butter to simmer until clarified* (approximately 20–30 minutes), stirring periodically.
  3. Add in base and stock along with seasoning. Now here is Mom’s secret! She takes out her “trolling motor” (her term for a hand-held blender) and blends entire pot of sauce together, yielding a rich, creamy, rust-colored sauce. After blending, continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, tasting for seasoning.
  4. Reintroduce shrimp and simmer for 2 minutes, then add all crabmeat and remove from heat.
  5. If your sauce is too thin, add cornstarch dissolved in water and allow to simmer until you reach your desired thickness.
  6. To serve, pour over a bed of Louisiana white rice and prepare for a party in your mouth…sure to tickle the taste buds!

*Butter clarifies as the fat rises to the top of heated butter. Skim off this fat periodically, and the remaining butted in the pan is “clarified.”

  • from Owners Bert Istre and David Bertrand of Shucks! The Louisiana Seafood House, Abbeville, LA

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