As I mentioned above each blogger was given 3 full recipes we could share. I’ll admit I was slightly disappointed when I got the three because one of them was for Cajun Shrimp Stew; and I’m allergic to shrimp…bummer for me.
I pondered changing up the recipe and adding chicken instead of the shrimp and using chicken stock in place of the shrimp stock. But after much deliberation I just didn’t feel that chicken would have done the recipe justice. So instead I decided to share the recipe with you (see below) and point you in the direction of some of my blogger companions (see links below) who have already posted about this stew and loved it. I hope you’ll decide to make it and if you do I hope you’ll come back and tell me about it.
In place of the Shrimp Stew I decided to make the Roasted Red Pepper Aioli as my 5th recipe.
We grow our own bell peppers and I love finding things to do with them. So when I saw that there was a Roasted Red Pepper Aioli recipe in Emeril’s book I knew I had to try it. Emeril uses the Aioli as a topping for Bouillabaisse but I think it makes a great bruschetta spread or even a nice sauce for chicken.
If you just can't wait...and I can totally understand why...you can preorder Emeril's book here.
Cajun Shrimp Stew
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups finely chopped onion
¼ cup minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
10 cups Rich Shrimp Stock (see below)
2 bay leaves
1 ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
3 large baking potatoes (2 ½ to 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup chopped green onion, green part only
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Steamed long-grain white rice, for serving
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the flour. Whisk to combine and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until a medium roux is formed (it should look a bit darker than peanut butter), about 10 minutes. (If the roux begins to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and take your time—it is important that the roux not be burned at all or the stew will have a bitter taste.) As soon as the roux is the right color, add the chopped onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, little by little, and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Add the bay leaves, black pepper, cayenne, thyme, and 4 teaspoons of the salt and reduce the heat so that the sauce just simmers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the floury taste is gone, 30 to 45 minutes.
Add the potatoes and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful, 30 to 40 minutes longer. (Add a bit of water or chicken broth to thin the gravy should the stew get too thick during the cook time. The sauce is meant to be thick and rich but not pasty.)
Toss the shrimp with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir the shrimp, green onion, and parsley into the stew and continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the bay leaves. Serve the stew in shallow bowls over hot white rice.
Rich Shrimp Stock
1 to 1 ½ pounds shrimp shells and heads
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
14 cups water
1 large onion, unpeeled, roughly chopped (the onion peel deepens the color of the stock)
½ cup roughly chopped celery
2 small carrots, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 large sprigs fresh parsley
Rinse the shrimp shells and heads in a large colander under cold running water and allow to drain.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shells are pink and toasty-fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the water and all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that comes to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook at a slow simmer until the stock is flavorful, 45 to 60 minutes.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heatproof bowl and allow it to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before using. (The stock may also be placed in airtight containers and frozen for up to several months.)
Links to some of the others that have made Cajun Shrimp Stew
Cajun Chef Ryan
The Boys Made Me Do It
Just Off the Red Street Car Line
Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the cookbook, a set of the serving dishes by zak!, a bottle of Emeril’s spices, and a small grocery reimbursement. Upon completion I will also receive a few of Emeril’s other cookbooks and one blogger will be chosen to win a T-Fal slow cooker. All opinions shared are my own.