Emeril's Cajun Shrimp Stew


1 cup vegetable oil

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups finely chopped onion

¼ cup minced garlic (about 12 cloves)

10 cups Rich Shrimp Stock (page 173)

2 bay leaves

1 ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

¾ teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt

3 large baking potatoes (2 ½ to 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 pounds small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ cup chopped green onion, green part only

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Steamed long-grain white rice, for serving


Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the flour. Whisk to combine and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until a medium roux is formed (it should look a bit darker than peanut butter), about 10 minutes.  (If the roux begins to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and take your time - it is important that the roux not be burned at all of the stew will have a bitter taste.)  As soon as the roux is the right color, add the chopped onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the stock, little by little, and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Add the bay leaves, black pepper, cayenne, thyme, and 4 teaspoons of the salt and reduce the heat so that the sauce just simmers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the floury taste is gone, 30 to 45 minutes.

2 Add the potatoes and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful, 30 to 40 minutes longer. (Add a bit of water or chicken broth to thin the gravy should the stew get too thick during the cook time. The sauce is meant to be thick and rich but not pasty.)

3 Toss the shrimp with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir the shrimp, green onion, and parsley into the stew and continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the bay leaves. Serve the stew in shallow bowls over hot white rice.

6 to 8 servings

Rich Shrimp Stock


1 to 1 1/2 pounds shrimp shells and heads

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

14 cups water

1 large onion, unpeeled and roughly chopped

1/2 cup roughly chopped celery

2 small carrots, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 large sprigs fresh parsley


Rinse the shrimp shells and heads in a large colander under cold running water and allow to drain.

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shells are pink and toasty-fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes.  Add the water and all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming an foam that comes to the surface.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook at a slow simmer until the stock is flavorful, 45-60 minutes.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heat-proof bowl and allow to cool completely (if not using immediately)

Makes about 12 cups

 Recipe courtesy of www.farmgirlgourmet.com www.emerils.com and www.thesecretingredientblog.com