Shrimp Etouffee, Dry Roux Variation

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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?

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14 thoughts on “Shrimp Etouffee, Dry Roux Variation”

  1. Fearless Friday: I got tired of fixing salmon the same way every time. So I put some unsalted butter in a hot pan and seared the fish for a couple of minutes on both sides. Took the fish out, and threw in some fresh peaches and blueberries. I mixed in a bit of the Splenda brown sugar (my husband's diabetic, so the fruit is enough) and a bit of white wine to make a sauce and keep it from getting too sweet. I put this and the fish in a casserole and baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. Yum, and good for you, too.

  2. I make my dry roux in a dry stainless steel skillet. You're just toasting flour, and its much faster on the stovetop…uses less power and heats the house up less, too. I usually start on high heat and reduce to medium. You gotta stand there and stir it, and be quick to pull the pan off the heat before it gets too brown – once it starts browning, it browns quickly! Walking away from it could be a fire hazard. I also toast dry spices this way sometimes…experiment to find the ones you like toasted.

  3. I'd never heard of dry roux, either. However, putting a flour in a pan and browning it (as Keter suggests) is exactly how you make "burnt flour" which is a Newfoundland home remedy for diaper rash! It really does work. It's kind of gross when you try to wipe it off a baby's wet bum, I admit, but if you're getting leery of all the zinc oxide you seem to be using and want to try something else, this is it!

  4. I was given a jar of dry roux from a gentle lady from southern LA and love it. When I run out, I will have to try this.

  5. I know next to nothing on this topic…but I will add that I watched a "Good Eats" episode in which Alton Brown makes a roux in the oven for his shrimp gumbo. He said it was an easier way to get a good result than is the pan method. Now I can't even remember if it was dry or not.

  6. Oh my tastebuds!

    I guess that is what I get for typing (pecking away) with only one hand because baby is in the other. I rushed through while posting the comment so I guess I missed a slightly major detail. I'm sorry about that. 🙂

    I'm glad this worked out for you. It really is a better way to cook. We usually only make a skillet roux when we are in a pinch. The rest of the time we have the dry roux.

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  8. I'd heard of toasting flour to use to make gravy (gives it a better color and flavor) but never heard it called dry roux!

    (it takes a tad bit more flour to thicken than your usual white flour recipe but you use it just the same.)

    • I’m from south Louisiana (Cajun country) where dry roux is as common as a loaf of bread! This recipe looks delicious, authentic.


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