Mrs. Sandy’s Etouffee

2 tsp salt
2 tsp red ground cayenne pepper (can be adjusted to taste–this is pretty spicy)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sweet basil
1/2 tsp thyme
Mix these spices together and set aside.

1/4 cup regular onion
1/4 cup celery
1/4 cup bell pepper
Chop vegetables, mix together, and set aside as the veggie mix.

1 cup finely chopped green onions
Set aside apart from the other vegetables.

2 lbs of crawfish or shrimp peeled, deveined, and set aside.
3 cups of fish stock

Fish stock: take shells from shrimp or any type of fish (I often use catfish nuggets). Add 4 cups of water and simmer for about 2 hours. Set aside. (This can be prepared ahead and frozen in pre-measured quantities for future use).

Pour 7 tablespoons of oil in a skillet (I prefer an iron skillet). Get oil very hot but not smoking. Add 3/4 cup flour and whisk constantly over medium heat until the roux is a deep reddish brown. This could take somewhere around 30 minutes. When the roux is deep reddish brown, remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and the veggie mix.

Bring 2 cups of the fish stock to a boil and add to the roux/veggie mix and cook over low heat for a few minutes.

Melt 1 stick of unsalted butter in a pan and saute’ green onions and shrimp until shrimp is done.

Add 1 stick of butter to remaining (1 cup) fish stock. Add remaining spice mix. Add this to the roux and continue stirring gently for a few minutes.

Serve over rice.