One of my favorite restaurants in Bloomington is Dats (formerly Yats), a place that makes Cajun/Creole food. They would make a few big batches of food per day and had a limited menu. But everything they made was delicious and it was the perfect place to go for lunch.
Like a lot of Bloomington restaurant foods, I tried to create their Chili Cheese Etoufee, which had crawfish in it. Since we were in Fort Wayne and there were no crawfish to be found, we made it with shrimp. This was part of a really good Fat Tuesday meal we made for my parents and ourselves. Part two of the meal was tres leches cake, which will follow shortly.
That's a picture of the roux that you make at the beginning. I don't think we browned ours quite enough, but it didn't pose any problems.
I was thrilled a year or so ago when Kira posted this recipe on her blog. I knew I'd miss that etoufee, and that I'd need her recipe to recreate it.
The recipe calls for cooked shrimp or other meat. I sauteed our shrimp in a little olive oil and garlic until they were golden.
In the end, it didn't taste 100% like the one at Dats, but it was So. Freaking. Good. Like Kira says, it makes a lot of food, and there were plenty of leftovers. John and I took a lot of the spices home with us, and I hope we make it again soon.
A brief note: John and I recorded ourselves as we cooked this, and we're hoping to cut the file into the first ever Sounds Like Canada podcast (woo!). I'll post about that again later, if and when it pans out.
Chili Cheese Etoufee
from Food alla Puttanesca.
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped green onions, plus more to garnish
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
1 cup diced onions
2 tsp. minced onion
1 cup Rotel Original diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 TBS tomato paste
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups shredded aged cheddar
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1 tsp. chili powder
Pinch ground coriander
Pinch groun cumin
Pinch ground cloves
Dash Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce
1 pound cooked shrimp (or crawfish, chicken, or some combination of the three)
Cooked white rice, to serve
Dry sherry, to garnish
1. Make a roux by melting the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat and then blending in the flour, consistently stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the roux is a golden color.
2. Add the green onions, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes and cook until the onions have browned.
3. Add the thyme, tomato paste, basil and peppers (black, white, cayenne).
4. Add the stock, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until the mixture becomes thick.
5. Add the cheese, half-and-half, chili powder, coriander, cumin, cloves, Worcestershire, and Tabasco and stir until the cheese and half-and-half are blended in well.
6. Gently stir in the crawfish, shrimp, and/or chicken and serve over fluffy white rice. Garnish with chopped green onions and drizzle with dry sherry.