Schwimps a la Maman

I have always admired Paul Prudhomme, the much accoladed Cajun chef whose “old school” ways popularized the delectable delights of Louisiana cuisine for the masses.

Chef Paul Prudhomme

Chef Paul Prudhomme

#300+ Paul is now getting about in a wheel chair, a condition surely aggravated by his “rich” eating habits. (As much as I love good food, I feel myself fortunate to NOT be in the same condition!)

Be that as it may, there is a rich  tradition of Louisiana cuisine that needs to be celebrated and this recipe stands at the top of the list for reasons why.

I offer this recipe in homage to my mother — Delores Marie Nicholson — who grew up in Chicago but lived in New Orleans as a young girl. She shared with me a rich heritage of soulful cuisine that  knows no bounds…. I cooked it just now and can’t eat it fast enough!

Delores Marie Nicholson

Delores Marie Nicholson

Shrimp Etoufee

Shrimp Etoufee


4 tbs vegetable oil
½ cup flour (unbleached)
NOTE: oil + flour = roux)
4 tbs butter
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 cup celery (chopped, with greens)
1 cup green pepper (chopped)
4 stalks  escallion (sliced thin, with greens)
4x plum tomatoes (chopped)
4 cups water (or, better, seafood stock)
1# shrimp (frozen is OK)


2 tbs bouillon (eliminate if you use seafood stock)
1 tbs garlic (crushed)
1 tbs pepper (crushed red)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme


MIX seasoning in a small bowl
MIX veggies in a separate bowl
HOLD shrimp in another bowl
MAKE roux (vegetable oil and flour) in a skillet until golden brown
ADD seasoning
SAUTE veggies in butter in a second skillet
ADD veggies to roux
MIX well
ADD shrimp
COOK until shrimp are done (3-5 minutes)
SERVE atop rice

NOTE: Serve atop rice accompanied with sliced avocado and green salad. The recipe serves 4-6.


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