Jo-Lynne tried out the shrimp étouffée recipe and shared her results (the site no longer exists). One of her readers, Amy Bayliss, commented that it’s far too hot in the summer to stand over the stove making roux and that in Louisiana they get around it by toasting batches of flour in the oven for a dry roux to be added at the end:
To make a dry roux you simply put 4-6 cups of flour in a dry dutch oven at 400 degrees for about one hour – or until it reaches the desired color, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Keep in mind that it will darken when liquid is added. My mama always says you leave it in there until right before it is the color you want. Then it is always just perfect!
I had never heard of dry roux and tend to agree with Amy about the heat, I thought it would be a perfect Fearless Friday experiment.
Fearless Fridays are a monthly event at Home Ec 101 where all readers are encouraged to share their kitchen experiments. The difficulty of the experiment completely depends on the skill level of the reader trying it. All I ask is that it be something new to you. A new ingredient, a new recipe, or a new skill. Have you tried anything new? Tell us about it in the comments or feel free to drop a link to your own site.
How did the experiment go? Well, let’s just say I made an assumption, dutch ovens are usually used with their lids on in the oven, so it ended up taking twice as long as it should have to make the dry roux. After an hour of stirring every fifteen minutes with little change, I took the lid off and quickly began to see results.
Since it was my first time, I didn’t go extremely dark and here’s what it came up with. I put some plain white flour on the right for comparison.
The finished dish was just as good as the original and I can see how quickly a batch of étouffée could come together now that some dry roux is in the freezer, I have enough for three more batches. I don’t think anyone is going to complain (among those over 6, the younger set finds it too spicy for their palates. Fine. More for me).
I also liked that it didn’t take as much fat for the dish. The first version had 1/2 cup of peanut oil, here I get by with just 1 tablespoon. The dry roux version is slightly less rich, but I skipped the optional butter at the end, because I forgot it completely.
Ingredients for Dry Roux Shrimp Étouffée:
- 2 lbs raw large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 bell pepper – diced
- 1 onion – diced
- 1 stalk celery – diced
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- 1 TBSP bacon drippings, butter, or olive oil
- 24 oz or 2 bottles dark beer (I use Newcastle, darker would be even better)
- 2 cups fish or shrimp stock (I used 15oz canned, tsk tsk all you want)
- 3 -4 bay leaves
- 3 TBSP Creole or Cajun seasoning, divided (watch the sodium content some are higher than others)
- 2 tsp hot pepper sauce (I’m a big fan of Louisiana Hot Sauce)
- 2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
- 3/4 – 1.5 cups toasted flour
- salt to taste
- 1 – 2 TBSP butter stirred in just before serving
- optional green onions as garnish
Over medium-low heat in the 1 TBSP fat saute the bell pepper, onion, and celery until the celery is bright green and the onions are starting to soften. Add the garlic, stir and cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the beer, fish stock, bay leaves 2 TBSP Cajun seasoning, 2 tsp hot sauce, and 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors develop. (This is when I peel the shrimp).
Use a ladle to scoop out some of the broth into a bowl, stir in your toasted flour and whisk until smooth. (It can be thick, but not have actual dry lumps in it.
Scrape this back into the pot and give it a good stir. This step prevents lumps of flour.
Add the shrimp, the last tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, if you like it spicy, and cook only until the shrimp are done. (3 – 5 more minutes)
Serve over rice and garnish with green onions, if you’d like.
What have you tried lately?