Cathys shrimp, corn and tomato stew
Serves: Serves 8 to 10
This recipe is from Real Cajun: Rustic Cooking From Donald Links Louisiana, by Donald Link (Clarkson Potter, $35). Use butter when making the roux, for a nutty flavor. Although Link says to use 1 cup of butter, you can get by using a ½ cup. To help the stew thicken slightly, add the tomatoes a little at a time, letting them incorporate until the mixture thickens just a bit. Homegrown roma tomatoes work really well in this recipe. This is a wonderful dish to make and store in the freezer because you add the shrimp right before its served.
4 pounds (16-20 count) shrimp
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
5 cups shrimp stock
2 tablespoons salt
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoons dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped
Peel the shrimp.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking almost constantly, just until the roux is a light peanut butter color and the aroma of the roux starts to fill the room, five to 10 minutes. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, for five more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, stock, salt, bay leaves, basil, thyme, pepper and paprika and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the peeled shrimp, parsley and scallions. Bring the stew back to a boil over high heat, then turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, allow stew to stand for 15 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.