We had a somewhat soggy Memorial Day but that did not dim our fun any.
Luckily I had planned a meal that did not require the grill. Growing up in southern Mississippi, on the Louisiana border, my tastes tend toward the spicy and flavorful blend of seasonings that defines the region. It has been awhile since I have done some Cajun cooking and I had a yen for etouffee.
Etouffee is a kind of gravy combining spices with celery, bell peppers and onions. This gravy adds so much flavor to the shrimp. It is really good served over rice with some scallions on top. I used this recipe and it was outstanding. Serve it with a tossed salad, maybe a little fruit salad as well and to me, it is the taste of home.
Chef John (creator of the recipe) says he used frozen shrimp and it was very tasty. I used previously frozen shrimp from Whole Foods. They were really delicious, and also came peeled and de-veined which was a bonus.
Back when my mother used to make etouffee we used crawfish, which were plentiful in that area. Crawfish are the poor relation of shrimp; they are a little chewier, but they do hold onto the sauce more tenaciously. Shrimp works just as well.
No one seemed to miss the burgers.
Naturally, the red, white and blue decor had to come out. Have you noticed how useful red napkins are? I plan to go out this week and buy some more. Between the patriotic holidays, Christmas and Valentine’s Day they are on a steady rotation. The blue tablecloth is from Ikea and it is so easy to care for. It comes out of the dryer wrinkle free.
I bought those funny little patriotic characters over 15 years ago at an antique mall. They add their own kind of spice to the table.
And now summer is officially underway! Unfortunately we have another week of rain to look forward to.