|photo courtesy of Louisiana Fish Fry website|
I moved to the great city of Houston, Texas, almost 11 years ago from my hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas. To that point, the most exotic food I had eaten was Chinese. However, after living in an international city such as H-Town for over a decade, I have been privileged to taste all types of cuisine from Indian to Brazilian and everywhere in between and beyond. However, the food that I have come to adore the most is Cajun cuisine. I had lived here for well over 7 years before I really came to appreciate the stuff. It is no coincidence that this happened to be about the time I married my hubby and he took me to his hometown of Lafayette to show it off. While not all of the food joints he took me to upon our visit were Cajun, the ones I remember fondly are. Since eating at the abundant Cajun places there and here in Houston, one of the foods I crave the most BY FAR is étouffée. I love it! It is a well-spiced gravy-like dish usually served with chicken, shrimp, or crawfish blended in over rice. I love it served over a good buttermilk biscuit, too. It is great comfort food. While it can be served as a side, I tend to eat it as a meal. I guess you could think of it like macaroni and cheese, but better.
My thing is to compare homemade recipes with grocery store fare. I will try lots of short cuts and mixes just for fun and to share with busy cooks. While homemade étouffée is not hard to make, nothing is easier than ripping open a bag and mixing stuff in and allowing the combination to cook. The hardest thing is making such an effortless concoction taste, well, as good as homemade. So when I browsed the aisles at the grocery store for étouffée mixes, I came across Louisiana Fish Fry 's Cajun Étouffée mix. It had received great reviews, so I was very eager to try it!
Here is how it goes in a nut shell:
|Melt butter in a good pot, like a Dutch oven.|
|Then, slowly add mix into the melted butter while stirring.|
|Allow the mix to cook just until the mix turns a medium brown.|
|Finally, add water and meat of choice (in my case shrimp) and allow dish to finish cooking.|
|Serve étouffée over cooked rice and enjoy!|
It was really this easy to do. The cooking and setting time (after dish is made) take almost 45 minutes. But it is a dish you can bring together in a pinch and walk away from with just occasional stirring in between. I made this dish on Thursday night for my family, so it is definitely easy to do during a work week.
But how was the taste? The taste was really good and authentic, but a little cheesy tasting, which is not a bad thing at all! My hubby really liked it and so did my boys. While it does contain Cajun spices, it is not overly spicy. But, if you have kids who do not like spice even in moderation, then this is not the meal for you. But, it is definitely a good meal to choose for company. When using shrimp, add less water than the instructions call for, because of the extra water the shrimp will release upon cooking. I used 3/4 cup less and that seemed to work fine.
On the Louisiana Fish Fry site, I gave this mix a 4.75 out of 5. All products have room for improvement, especially regarding salt content.
Well, that is all I have for now folks. Happy Sunday and happier eating!
Now, GEAUX try it.