Well, here we go again. Another year that seems to fly by! I can’t believe that Fat Tuesday is upon us already! If you have followed me for awhile, you know that I love some good Cajun/Creole food. I must have been a Cajun lady in a past life. I have made Jambalaya, gumbo and BBQ shrimp in the past so I knew that I had to make Étouffée this year. Étouffée is a favorite of mine because it’s more substantial than it’s close cousin Gumbo. I love how thick and flavorful the sauce becomes where a gumbo is more like a soup! Similar flavors but totally different animals! Truth be known, I was multi-tasking when I made up this recipe. I forgot to make the roux first (I know, I’m horrible) but I figured out it is just as delicious (and quicker to make) than a version made with a roux. Try it and you will see what I mean! I also did something different from the traditional Étouffée. I added some chipotle peppers with adobo! The chipotle gives it a smooth smokey flavor that pairs great with the shrimp and andouille! This version isn’t too spicy, so if you like it hot, add the hot sauce! This is a good recipe friend! I hope you make it!
So this past week was my birthday. One year closer to being my big 5-0! Lol! This year I got a special visit from a friend from Austrailia. We had some fun adventures over the past couple of weeks but this one was really fun! We hopped in the car and headed south from Buena Vista to a tiny village of Nathrop, Colorado home to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. It’s a 2-hour drive from my place south of Denver. I love Colorado’s hot springs and I haven’t visited Mt Princeton since the early 1990’s. Chalk Creek runs down from the high mountains of the Collegiate Peaks which dumps into the Arkansas River and boasts geothermal mineral pools that run alongside the creek. I’ll tell ya, I have been to a lot of hot springs in Colorado, but this one was fun. Imagine, a “pocket” snowstorm, cold temps and nothing but a bathing suit and a towel for a brisk walk to the creek. The water was a comfortable 100-103 degrees and when it got too hot, you move a rock and the cold water from the river evens out the temperature! A pretty cool experience right in my backyard! I’ll for sure be back for a little R&R!
Dillon, Colorado was lucky enough to get the Ice Castles back this year and we were lucky enough to get to go! Wowzer! What an experience! Some genius was creative enough to think about making a giant Ice Castle from a fire hose! Not only was it really beautiful, it was huge! We went at night where it was a balmy 16 degrees but they light the castle up with all different colors! Quite stunning if I do say so myself. I was impressed! What a fun night! I may even try to get up during the day sometime this week to see it from a different perspective! If you have the chance to go, I highly suggest it. A super fun and unique Colorado experience!
Enjoy! Have a great week!
Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Étouffée
Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Étouffée is one of my favorite things to devour! Lucky me! It's Fat Tuesday this week and being able to make this comfort food right now is perfect timing!
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup diced green pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3-4 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers with adobo
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning such as Tony Chachere's
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
For the Rice
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- sliced green onions
- your favorite hot sauce
In a medium-sized pot with a lid, add the rice, stock and, salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat cook the sausage until it begins to brown. About 5 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels until later in the cooking process.
In the same pan, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions, peppers, celery and, garlic. Cook until the vegetables become translucent for 5-6 minutes.
Wisk in the flour, chipotle peppers, tomatoes, Creole seasoning, thyme, bay leaves, salt and, pepper. Cook for a minute or so stirring constantly.
Add the chicken stock and the sausage. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the shrimp and cook until they become pink. About another 5 minutes.
Serve with the hot rice, scallions and hot sauce if desired.
Feel free to double the rice if you like more rice with your dish! 1 cup serves 4 people.