Friday, November 15, 2019

Shrimp and Poached Egg Stew #FishFridayFoodies

This rich shrimp and poached egg stew is a traditional dish from southern Louisiana so, of course, it starts with a roux and the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. It is thick and delicious and, if seasoned with ample cayenne, as spicy as God intended it should be.

Food Lust People Love: This rich shrimp and poached egg stew is a traditional dish from southern Louisiana so, of course, it starts with a roux and the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. It is thick and delicious and, if seasoned with ample cayenne, as spicy as God intended it should be. You can, of course, leave the eggs out and you’ll still have a divine shrimp stew, but I encourage you to give it a try Papa Tom’s way. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and shrimp are not. They are a delicious way to add protein and stretch the budget.


When my mom was growing up, this was a dish that was on regular rotation on Fridays especially during Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, when meat could not be eaten by the Roman Catholic faithful.

They didn’t call it shrimp and poached egg stew. In my grandmother’s house it was simply shrimp stew or Papa Tom’s stew, because it was a recipe her own father, my great-grandfather used to make. He was quite the cook apparently. I shared another family favorite of Papa Tom’s a few years ago, his chicken spaghetti, that also starts with a roux. It has the richest sauce and we love it!

For the very first time, a couple of days back, I searched the interwebs for shrimp and egg stew and I was surprised by how many recipes turned up. Most were from southern Louisiana, except a couple called North Carolina style shrimp stew in which eggs should be poached, certainly, but they also contained potatoes and were more of a clear broth, without a roux. Many of the Louisiana recipes were for shrimp stew with hard-boiled eggs. Interesting.

When I told my mother that other people made this dish, that it seemed to be a Cajun thing, she said, “Well, they must have known, Papa Tom.” This dish is one I also thought to be peculiar to our family. She also said that my grandmother would be proud by how mine turned out. Made my day.

Shrimp and Poached Egg Stew

You can, of course, leave the eggs out and you’ll still have a divine shrimp stew, but I encourage you to give it a try Papa Tom’s way. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and shrimp are not. They are a delicious way to add protein and stretch the budget.

Ingredients
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1 cup or 125g flour
1 large onion
1 green bell pepper
4-5 stalks celery
1/4 cup or 45g tomato paste
4 cups or ml shrimp or fish stock or water with stock cubes to create equivalent
Sea salt
Black pepper
Cayenne
Good handful of green onion tops
Good handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 lbs or 675g fresh or frozen shrimp, weight already peeled and cleaned
6-8 fresh eggs

To serve:
Cooked white rice

Method
Peel and finely chop your onions, bell pepper and celery.



Put your oil and flour into a heavy bottomed pot and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or other heat-resistant stirring implement, like a silicone spatula. Once all the flour lumps have been dissolved, turn the fire on medium and cook, stirring frequently at first and then constantly as the roux begins to dark.



Cook and stir until your roux is about the color of an old copper penny.  (For sequential photos of the roux as it darkens, follow this link.)

Add in the chopped vegetables in all at once and stir well to mix.  The mixture will be quite stiff.



Cook the vegetables for about five minutes, stirring all the time, and then add in the tomato paste.



Stir to incorporate the tomato paste and then add in the fish stock or water and stock cubes.  Stir or whisk to combine.



Bring to the boil and then simmer, covered, for at least one hour or until you are about 20 minutes from serving your stew. Check the level periodically, and add more water if it is getting too thick for stew.

Meanwhile season your shrimp with salt, black pepper and cayenne.

When you are about 20 minutes from serving, turn up the heat on your stew until it is gently boiling again and add the shrimp to the pot.  Turn the heat down again and stir ever so gently. Check the seasoning and add salt and cayenne as needed.



Stir in the green onion tops, reserving just a little for the finished stew.



Turn the heat off so the stew stops bubbling. Crack each egg into a small bowl or cup then gently slip each into the stew.

Food Lust People Love: This rich shrimp and poached egg stew is a traditional dish from southern Louisiana so, of course, it starts with a roux and the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. It is thick and delicious and, if seasoned with ample cayenne, as spicy as God intended it should be. You can, of course, leave the eggs out and you’ll still have a divine shrimp stew, but I encourage you to give it a try Papa Tom’s way. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and shrimp are not. They are a delicious way to add protein and stretch the budget.
Turn the heat back on low and cover the pot. Leave to cook until the eggs are done to your liking. My mom likes them hard cooked, so I left mine for about 14 minutes. Normally poached eggs in water take a much shorter time, but somehow in the thick sauce they take longer. After the normal 5 minutes, the whites were still completely clear! I am sure there is some thermodynamic reason but I don’t know it. Use your own judgement on this. According to some of the recipes I found, some people like the yolk still runny in shrimp stew.

Serve over hot cooked rice. We also add extra hot sauce to each bowl at the table.

Food Lust People Love: This rich shrimp and poached egg stew is a traditional dish from southern Louisiana so, of course, it starts with a roux and the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. It is thick and delicious and, if seasoned with ample cayenne, as spicy as God intended it should be. You can, of course, leave the eggs out and you’ll still have a divine shrimp stew, but I encourage you to give it a try Papa Tom’s way. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and shrimp are not. They are a delicious way to add protein and stretch the budget.


Enjoy!

This month my Fish Friday Foodie friends are all sharing seafood stews and soups from around the world. I didn't go far from home for this one but still felt it was unusual enough, and from a different enough culture from middle America, to qualify. Many thanks to our host, Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla from Check out the other warming recipes our group is sharing.

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month. To join our group please email Wendy at wendyklik1517 (at) gmail.com. Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.


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Food Lust People Love: This rich shrimp and poached egg stew is a traditional dish from southern Louisiana so, of course, it starts with a roux and the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. It is thick and delicious and, if seasoned with ample cayenne, as spicy as God intended it should be. You can, of course, leave the eggs out and you’ll still have a divine shrimp stew, but I encourage you to give it a try Papa Tom’s way. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and shrimp are not. They are a delicious way to add protein and stretch the budget.
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