Betty Jo's Shrimp Stew

Among the many hurricane stories in store owner Anne's family, the shrimp stew tale takes the cake. Anne was caring for her mother Betty Jo during hurricane Isaac and preparing her mom's favorite shrimp stew. The flood water rose very fast and before their eyes to their knees. Their exit was just as swift. Hours later, evacuated at her aunt's house, when handed a ham sandwich, Anne's mother sweetly asked, "Where is the shrimp stew?"

This recipe is a South Louisiana start-it-with-a-roux standard. Anne remembers that her mother added potatoes to stretch the dish and served it with big helpings of steaming rice.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 Tbl Bayou Seafood Blend
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
5 cups shrimp or vegetable stock
1 small russet potato, peeled and diced
2 lbs peeled, deveined shrimp
Chopped fresh parsley and green onions for garnish
Salt & Cayenne
Cooked rice for serving

In a heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the flour and oil and stir, constantly, until a peanut-butter colored roux is achieved. This will take 8-10 minutes. Our hand-made, right or left-handed Roux Spoon is your friend here!

Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and Bayou Seafood Blend to the roux and reduce the heat. Stir and cook until the vegetables are softened - about 10 minutes. Add in the bay leaf and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the potato and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the  shrimp and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the parsley and green onions and stir to combine. Taste and adjust with salt and cayenne if needed.

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