Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Étouffée

Shrimp sausage etouffee

     Someone once said, “I’ve concluded that a woman’s preparation for an evening out is like the making of sausage – the less you know about the process, the more you respect the result.”    

     Well, I happen to love being privy to a woman’s preparation for an evening out. The transfiguration from natural beauty to stylish elegance and sophistication is often tedious, but it’s always sensual, and sometimes performed with a flourish. Each step is absolutely necessary, deliberate, and most certainly can’t be rushed.

     As I was watching my wife, Dorothy, getting ready for our dinner and dance club’s “Boa Night,” it occurred to me that this embodies many of the same components as that of theater: performance training (dance lessons), selection of an appreciative audience (venue), direction, costuming, makeup, mental preparation, and finally the ultimate performance (constituting stagecraft and artistic expression).

     Later that evening, while watching her at dinner, wrapped in her feather boa, looking beautiful, confident, and self-assured, I knew all of the special attention to detail and expense was worth it. It was at that moment I knew nights such as this were necessary; otherwise, how was an adoring public going to be aware of the true diva living within?

     As for sausage, well, that’s another story. Far from being a refined process, its preparation is rather crude where ground meat is seasoned and stuffed into a casing, usually made from the intestine of that same animal. It’s the added ingredients and cooking technique that transform it into a thing of beauty. 

     So here’s to well-seasoned sausage and spicy women who wear boas, each having the potential to turn the most common event into a celebration. Life would certainly be less interesting without them.

Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Étouffée

yields: 6-8 Servings prep time: 15 Minutes cook time: 60 minutes
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1/4 cup 4 oz. 1/2 cup 1 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1 cup 3 cloves 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp 1 tsp 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 2-3 dashes 8 oz. 6 oz. 14.5 oz. 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp 1 3 links Salt 2 lb. 12 Servings Garnish
EVOO Butter Flour Onion yellow chopped Bell pepper green chopped Bell pepper red chopped Celery chopped Garlic Pepper black Pepper cayenne Cajun seasoning Onions green minced, more for garnish Parsley minced Hot sauce Clam juice Wine white Tomatoes diced fire roasted Worcestershire sauce Lemon zest (freshly grated) Bay leaf Andouille sausage (cooked and diced) To taste Shrimp (small/medium, peeled and deveined) Rice (use clam juice as part of liquid) Green onions or parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup
  • 4 oz.
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup
    Onion yellow chopped
  • 1/2 cup
    Bell pepper green chopped
  • 1/2 cup
    Bell pepper red chopped
  • 1 cup
    Celery chopped
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp
    Pepper black
  • 1/2 tsp
    Pepper cayenne
  • 1 tsp
    Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup
    Onions green minced, more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup
    Parsley minced
  • 2-3 dashes
    Hot sauce
  • 8 oz.
    Clam juice
  • 6 oz.
    Wine white
  • 14.5 oz.
    Tomatoes diced fire roasted
  • 1 Tbsp
    Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp
    Lemon zest (freshly grated)
  • 1
    Bay leaf
  • 3 links
    Andouille sausage (cooked and diced)
  • Salt
    To taste
  • 2 lb.
    Shrimp (small/medium, peeled and deveined)
  • 12 Servings
    Rice (use clam juice as part of liquid)
  • Garnish
    Green onions or parsley leaves


Mise en place: diced sausages, (diced onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, green onions and parsley flakes), (black pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, green onions, parsley, and hot sauce) 


Enter Target Time _______________


Time: __________ (75 minutes prior to target time)

  1. Brown the sliced sausages in a bit of oil in a small skillet over medium heat until done, and set aside.

  2. Mix oil, butter, and flour (called a roux) in a Dutch oven over low heat.

  3. Whisk to form a paste.  Whisk continuously until it turns a caramel color and gives off a “nutty” aroma, around 40 minutes.  When it starts to smell like burnt popcorn, you can add more ingredients.

  4. Add onions, peppers, celery, and garlic to the roux and cook over low heat 5 minutes until vegetables are limp.

  5. Add black pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, green onions, parsley, and hot sauce to taste.

  6. Add clam juice, white wine, tomatoes and their juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, and the sausage. Stir to blend.

  7. Add salt if needed.

  8. Turn heat to med-high and bring mixture to a boil.

  9. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

  10. Prepare rice. White long-grained is best. Use clam juice as part of liquid.

  11. Add shrimp and stir. Cook for about 7 minutes (don’t overcook). Add water if needed. The rice will absorb some of the liquid.

  12. Remove from heat. Serve over rice in bowls. Garnish with green onions, parsley leaves, and crushed red pepper.

Note: In French, the word étouffée literally means “smothered” or “suffocated.” To my way of thinking it is Louisiana cooking at its finest. 

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