Esma’s Shrimp Stew _lowres

 

Esma’s Shrimp Stew

Serves 8. Recipe is from “Shrimp: a SAVOR THE SOUTH cookbook” by Jay Pierce. Copyright ©2015 by University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press, uncpress.unc.edu. Pierce writes, “My mother’s grandmother was the benchmark cook in our family; everyone still compares their cooking to hers. Esma Richoux was born in LaRose, Louisiana, where she was head of the household by the age of 16. After relocating to the suburbs of New Orleans with her husband, Norba Trosclair, she hosted all of our family’s memorable meals. She was allergic to shrimp, so this is based on her chicken stew recipe. My mother, Collette Boudreaux, loves shrimp, so she omitted the lima beans and chicken and added shrimp.”

¾ cup canola oil

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 medium onion, chopped

¾ cup chopped celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon thyme

4 bay leaves

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

2 pounds large shrimp (26/30 count), peeled

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Combine the oil and flour in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Stir, slowly and constantly, until the roux is the color of chocolate, 20-30 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic and bell pepper; mix well, and remove from the heat.

2. When the vegetables stop sizzling and producing steam, transfer the mixture to a Dutch oven or similar-sized heavy-bottomed pot. Gradually add the chicken stock. (You may add water as needed — the stew should be thinner now than you want the end result to be).

3. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the shrimp and simmer for 15–20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and add the parsley in the last few minutes. Serve over rice.