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Mardi Gras Cooking at Home

It was Fat Tuesday in San Diego, and the streets were lined up in full force ready for the Mardi Gras festivities.  Was I "donning beads?" you ask, well, no I wasn't.

I was at home, working on a dish Mardi Gras at Home and being a responsible because that is what adults do!!! (I kid, I really wanted to be out, but I had to be up too early to risk being too tired; 'adulting got in the way- darn).

I recently received a gift from Gringo Bandito. They asked me to create a dish for their website with their hot sauce and I thought a Shrimp Etouffee would be the perfect Mardi Gras pairing.

The Shrimp Etouffee is a savory shrimp dish that pairs deliciously with dirty rice. It's a classic creole dish and it's so easy that you can make this anytime, not just during Mardi Gras celebrations! 

Shrimp Etouffee with Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce 

Gringo Bandito sent me these three products: 

The 3 pack that I got to sample and create with.

They are a local (Southern California local) hot sauce company by the founder of the The Offspring, Dexter Holland who began making hot sauce as a hobby but as all great hobbies, they turn into success stories. (read more about this company here).

As a chef and food blogger, I am always grateful when companies ask me to create a dish that will encompass their mission with a dish that will align my own. 

I love spicy food but I don’t just want to “toss a dish with hot sauce and call it a day” I want to showcase the ingredients in the product. I want it to pair it with just the right dish each and every time.

So Gringo Bandito, I chose your sauce to make the classic Shrimp Etouffee for my Mardi Gras at Home celebration!

I found out that their Super Hot red sauce uses scorpion pepper and jolokia pepper which is used widely in creole cooking (which is heavily influence by the Africans who immigrated to the Big Easy; which is where the Shrimp Etouffee is originated from.

I found that the spice was just enough to make it stand out but also would be vital to create the creole based flavoring.

The steps of this dish were adapted from a cookbook that I found in our collection (okay, more like my boyfriend’s cookbook collection) called, Recipes and Reminisces of New Orleans. It is by the the Ursuline convent and it’s a contribution cookbook based on dishes created from the ursuline communities that influenced the food that came to Louisiana.

I have always wanted to use a recipe from this cookbook and create a dish. I have been riffling through this book for some time now, looking to find an opportunity to cook a dish from it, so when I received the hot sauce from Gringo Bandito I knew I would create the Shrimp Etouffee which would bridge together the flavors associated with creole cooking and the Shrimp Etouffee. 

The steps were easy as the south's trinity is different than the French as they use celery, onion, bell pepper (instead of carrots that is often used in the French trinity). This was the base for the two dishes made, the Shrimp Etouffee and Dirty Rice (rice cooked with chicken livers ham, and sausage).

Shrimp Etouffee is completed with a dry wine and sauce, while the dirty rice is a sautéed trinity dish with the boiled chicken livers and chopped ham and sliced sausage mixed with cooked rice. (fyi- I omitted the chicken livers for this dish, because it was a shared dish and most people aren’t too keen on chicken livers- personally, I love them- but it’s not for everything).

I always do my prep ahead of time, it’s the chef in me- we prep all the time. So, I filled a quart container with the ingredients, which included carrot (because I love them). I know not so much a trinity anymore, but hey- it's my dish, so I can pretty much do this right? 

A glimpse into my mise en place at home. I filled a quart container with equal part of the carrots, celery, bell pepper, and onions.

Let’s see the steps for the Shrimp Etouffee:

It was really easy since it was all in one pot (which is pretty much how I love to cook; it makes an easy clean up! 

It was all a matter of layering the ingredients which creates a flavor profile that is just necessary at all times! 

Want to make this at home? Go for it! 

Shrimp Etouffee (serves 2-4 people)

1 lb. raw shrimp (shelled and deveined)

3 tbsp. of butter

3 tbsp. of Gringo Bandito Hot sauce 

1/3 cup of each (diced) bell peppers, carrots, celery and red onion

2 tbsp. of flour

1/3 cup of dry wine or water

2 tsp minced parsley

2 tsp minced shallot

 

Directions:

1.       Melt Butter in a skillet on medium heat and add the hot sauce.

2.       Sautee the vegetables until softened, 10 -12 minutes

3.       Add the flour and mix with vegetables. Add the white wine (or water) and let sauce form.

4.       Add the shrimp and cook until pink and tender, then finish with shallot and parsley. Serve immediately over Dirty Rice.

 


Dirty Rice (serves 2-4 people)

1 pkg of cooked rice

1 tsp oil

1/3 cup of each (diced) bell peppers, carrots, celery and red onion

2 Sausages, sliced

2 pcs of Bologna (chicken) chopped

2 pcs of deli ham, chopped

1 /3 c vegetable stock (or chicken stock)

 

Directions:

1.       Heat a stock pot to medium heat

2.       Add the sliced sausage and cook 6 minutes. Set aside.

3.       Add the vegetable to the pan, and cook until tender about 15 minutes.

4.       Add the ham and bologna (or the boiled chicken livers diced in pieces) to the mixture.

5.       Add the vegetable stock and the sausage and cook together another 10 minutes.

6.       Fold in the cooked rice and serve with shrimp etouffee.


Creole cooking is EASY, right?

The key of creole cooking is the layering of flavors that are developed. As for the dirty rice, you can omit the meat and go vegetarian (use cremini mushroom to mimic the meat flavor) or use your own homemade stock to intensify the flavor. It's a matter of your own personal style. This dish was simple but PACKED with flavor! 

So there you have it, another easy recipe with little to no ingredients, and probably with items you have in your kitchen already.

Let me know if you make this dish- I promise it is THAT easy and that flavorful! 

Until next time,

Martha

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