I don’t know about where you guys are, but down here we know how to do Mardi Gras right. Pensacola isn’t quite as big as Mobile’s celebration and certainly doesn’t get all the acclaim that New Orleans does, but don’t let that fool you. The earliest documented Mardi Gras celebrations were held in Mobile, Biloxi, New Orleans and finally, Pensacola.
Mardi Gras is a whole lot of fun. I mean, what’s not to love? The booze, the debauchery, the FOOD…. (I’ll admit, that’s what I’m really in it for.) So, this year I thought I’d try my hand at etoufee. Monday evening my brother was in town and we were enjoying ourselves out on the beach when time got away from me. (Had nothing to do with the mojitos. I swear.) So, in a rush, I stopped by my local market and grabbed some steamed snow crab legs, shrimp and a filet of Mahi. The mahi was for my one child that doesn’t always like shrimp, and as he’s a teenager and eats more than the rest of us combined, I like to be prepared. So, leftovers. My point is leftovers. I had shrimp, crab legs, and mahi sitting in the fridge begging to be used.
Thus, I came up with my version of a seafood etoufee. Or gumbo. Or whatever you want to call it. At my house, we call it GOOD. I made my own stock, just because it’s simple and I think it adds depth to a dish. Here’s a link to my seafood stock recipe, in case you don’t know how to make one.Seafood Stock. But chicken stock will do fine as a substitute. Feel free to substitute out the seafood with your personal preferences, I certainly did.
4 tbs butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs flour
2 ears of fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
1 med yellow onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 potatos, diced
4 cups of seafood stock, (or chicken)
1 cup dry white wine
1 5 oz lobster tail
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb lump crab meat, peeled and deveined
1 filet of fish (your choice, but a white fish is best. ), cut into small pieces
1 tsp fresh parsley minced
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp frsh thyme, choppe
dash of paprika
dash of cayenne
juice of 1 lemon
1 c heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
Heat butter in the bottom of large heavy pot, such as a dutch oven at med heat. Add celery, onion and sweet corn. Cook until it starts to soften. Add flour, stirring frequently. Slowly add stock, stirring to incorporate the flour mixture. Add wine. Add potatoes. Simmer about 10 minutes. Cut heat down, to low simmer. Add parsley, rosemary, thyme, paprika, cayenne, and lemon juice (I also added a tbs of tomato paste, because it was open and waste not, want not.) Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in all the seafood, add more stock if needed, just to cover. Cook until fish barely flakes. Add in cream, and milk. (Disclaimer- these measurements are to your own liking. If you like it a little thicker, cut back on the stock. A little creamier, have a heavier hand with the cream. Add a little until you get it to your desired consistency. To each his own.) Allow the stew to warm through until at a bare simmer. Serve over rice.