Etouffée means "smothered," as any fan of Cajun cooking knows, and Joshua Marks didn't skip any of the classic vegetables in the sauce that smothered his shrimp. This is a finely honed version of the traditional preparation, and even though a stick of butter may seem generous for a pound of shrimp… well, the dish would miss it if you used less. To get the roux to a medium golden color and cook it properly, you need this volume of butter and flour. And it's true to the spirit of generations of generous, open-handed Cajun cooks, who aren't known for starting a dish with merely a tablespoon or two of butter!
Once the wine and stock have gone in, the sauce simmers until it's thick and smooth. At this point, your étouffée is pretty much ready, so don't add the shrimp until the rice is cooked and your guests are seated at the table. It doesn't take long to smother the shrimp once they go in.
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