Ay Too, Fay? Chesapeake Étouffée

Chesapeake Étouffée -- is that a great name or what?  Rachel from Coconut and Lime, who titled this dish, is just sooo creative!   If she had called it crab stew, I would have totally bypassed it.

According that culinary expert, wikipedia, étouffée is a thick stew usually made with shellfish such as crawfish or shrimp.   It can even be made with chicken.  Rachel's recipe calls for crab meat and crab stock.  My  more kosher-friendly version uses "crab" surimi and onion bouillon, yet still is quite tasty.

Rachel's original also contains shallots.  I am ashamed to admit that I wouldn't know a shallot if I tripped over it.  So I did a fast check at Epicurious' food dictionary to discover that shallots are in the onion family, but more resembles garlic bulbs.  On a side note, the Jersey shallot is also called a "false" shallot.   Figures ... 

In any event, I omitted the shallots, used onion bouillon and bumped up the garlic a tad.  I also omitted the celery, only because I don't like celery in most foods, except for chicken soup.  I used margarine for a parve meal;  use butter if you prefer a dairy version.

This dish comes together pretty quickly.  The étouffée was ready only a few minutes after rice cooked up.  A great week-night meal.

I served this dinner to wimps cautious eaters, so I had to dial down the heat a lot.  If you are more adventurous, feel free to bump the hot sauce up to 2 teaspoons and the cayenne to 1/2 teaspoon.  I think next time I'll use a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers for a more smoky spicy taste.

Chesapeake Étouffée
Adapted from: Coconut and Lime
Yield:  4 servings

2  Tbl. margarine
1 Tbl. Old Bay seasoning
1/4 cup unbleached flour
2 tsp. chopped garlic (bottled okay)
1 1/2 cup onion bouillon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. hot sauce (or to taste)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or leaves from a few springs fresh)
1tsp. kosher salt
14 oz canned diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 pkg. (16 ozs.) surimi, chunk style
leaves from 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
2 scallions, green part thinly sliced
Cooked rice, enough for your family

Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.   Add margarine, Old Bay and flour. Sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly, to cook the floury taste out. A roux such as this is usually cooked for 20 minutes until the mixture becomes a tasty brown, but with the Old Bay providing instant color, you can skip the longer cooking time.

Add the garlic and sauté another minute.

Pour in stock;  and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to prevent lumps when mixture thickens.

Add hot sauce, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and salt.

Stir in tomatoes.

Coarsely chop crab surimi.  Add it to the skillet along with parsley and scallions; gently combine.

Cook a few minutes or until the surimi is coated with sauce and warmed through.  Oh, yum!

Divide cooked rice among 4 dinner plates.  Ladle étouffée over rice.


Hannah said…
It's all about marketing! The name really does make it sound fancy, although it would no doubt taste as good no matter what you call it. :)
dena said…
And it works ... I think the very descriptive name Rachel called this dish makes it taste even better!

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