Shrimp Sauce Piquant

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(click on pic to enlarge)

This is the best Cajun recipe ever. The flavors in this dish capture a bit of all the best in gumbo.

Piquant is translated as “having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor”. Therefore, it is an appetizing gumbo and great when the weather gets cold.

Serving for 4

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Making the Shrimp Stock:
Peel one pound of shrimp and use 1/2 of the shrimp heads and tail shells
½ onion chopped
1 stalk celery chopped w/leaves
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. peppercorns
1 clove garlic cut in half
6 cups water

Place all ingredients in a 4 quart sauce pot. Bring to a light boil then simmer for 45 minutes, then turn off heat.  You will not use all the stock but need that much water to properly dilute the shrimp heads and tail shells, otherwise the stock will get too strong.  The idea is to have a hint of seafood flavor in the stock.

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Making the mirepoix:
½ onion chopped (place in a separate bowl)
1 stalk celery chopped
½ green bell pepper chopped
1 clove minced garlic

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Making the roux and sauce base:
5 Tbsp. olive oil
5 Tbsp. flour

In a pot, I use a 5 quart cast iron pot, heat the oil until hot. One tablespoon at a time, add the flour and whisk. Add another tablespoon and whisk and rest of the flour and whisk until the flour turns a dark oak color but keep whisking. Add onions and mix with the roux and allow cooking for 5 minutes or so while whisking. Then add the celery, garlic and green bell pepper. By now the roux will get darker.  Ladle in 3 cups of strained shrimp stock one cup at a time for desired thickness and bring to a fast boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

Complete pot:
Shrimp meat from one pound of shrimp
1 stick of Andouille sausage (or any smoked sausage) sliced to quarter inch thickness
3 stalks of scallion (green onions with tops) chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1 jalapeño pepper minced
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

After boiling the roux sauce for 30 minutes add all remaining ingredients and then ladle-in a little more shrimp stock if necessary until all the ingredients are covered with stock. Some of the stock will evaporate when first cooking the roux.  You have to feel-the-feel on that. Place lid over pot and simmer another 30 minutes.

Serve over rice.
Add Tabasco if desired.

Can it be that easy?

(Someone say yes.)

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