Cajun food, Cajun Food— oh, how I love thee!
Seriously, all of the flavors infused in one dish is just so absolutely, breath taking-ly good. I just can’t get enough of it.
Growing up in the South, I’ve had my fair share of good Shrimp Etouffee. It’s definitely on the very top of my list of favorite Cajun food, along with a big bowl of gumbo and po’ boys. I knew I just had to recreate a Whole30/Paleo rendition in my kitchen because, although classic New Orleans-Style dishes will never remain authentic when translating to the Paleo world (uh, hello we can’t use flour and butter!) the flavors shine through and create a fantastic meal nonetheless.
Most of the time I’ve enjoyed Etouffee it’s been with leftover crawfish from a crawfish boil. My cousin hosts a Crawfish Boil every year and makes the most fantastic etouffee with the leftovers. We all come crawling back over the day after just to enjoy a big bowl of it. He makes it using one of my all time favorite chef’s recipes, Chef Paul Prodhomme. (See his authentic Crawfish Etouffee recipe here).
I have to say that even though my recipe is not authentic, this Whole30 rendition of Shrimp Etouffee is freaking delicious and one that I think you’ll be seriously impressed with. Even without the ingredients to make a traditional roux, I think the way I did here is pretty darn close to the real deal (or at least as close as one can get without butter and flour). I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
So serve it up, Whole30 style, and let your taste buds sing! I love dousing mine in Crystal’s Hot Sauce and sitting on the couch to watch trashy TV. It’s the perfect ending to a long day! Enjoy!
- 1.5 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch/flour
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced (or 1/2 medium onion)
- 3/4 cup chopped celery or 1 large stalk
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced (reserve 1/4 for serving)
- 3/4 cup green bell pepper, finely diced (or 1/2 medium bell pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or more to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley for serving
- Louisiana Style Hot Sauce for serving (I like Crystal's)
- Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is shimmering, swirl the pan so the the oil evenly coats the skillet. Add shrimp in a single layer with salt and pepper. Cook shrimp until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add ghee to skillet to melt. Add arrowroot and stir until combined with ghee, pressing all the clumps out with the edge of a spoon until smooth.
- Add onions, celery, green onion, and bell pepper to the skillet. Season with cayenne, oregano, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, bay leaf and paprika. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. (The roux, vegetables, and spices will become sticky and adhere to the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook for 4 minutes, or until the veggies have softened, stirring frequently. Brown bits will develop on the bottom of the pan but they will help increase the flavor.)
- Add the *drained* diced tomatoes and fish sauce. While stirring, slowly pour in the chicken stock, until incorporated. Bring to a rapid simmer. Stirring often and scraping up and browned bits, allow sauce to reduce, about 5-7 minutes.
- Once the sauce has thickened, reduce heat to low and return shrimp to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Taste shrimp and adjust seasonings, if desired.
- Serve over prepared cauliflower rice and garnish with parsley and hot sauce.