Behind the Dish: Shrimp Étouffée

The master chef who provided Julia with the recipe for today’s Julia Project dish is one likely familiar to many: Emeril Lagasse, the Cajun/Creole chef whose presence on TV is ubiquitous. (You can see him preparing the dish at the video linked here.)

Shrimp Étouffé calls for, first, a butter-and-flour roux, to which are added chopped onions, bell peppers and celery, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper and, of course, “Essence” (a combination of paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried oregano and dried thyme). Then shrimp stock is added and the whole combination is boiled, then simmered. Raw shrimp is seasoned with more of the Essence and added them to the pot and cooked through. With a little parsley added, the finished dish is served on steamed white rice and garnished with green onion. BAM!

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Behind the Dish: Chicken Pot Pie

What makes chicken pot pie Julia Child-style different from a Banquet chicken pot pie you can pick up in the grocer’s freezer? Plenty. We’re going to poach and dice our chicken and vegetables — leeks, carrots, white button mushrooms, and red onions for color — maybe a little potato — and some nice green peas, combine them all in a velouté sauce (the poaching stock thickened with a butter-and-flour roux with salt, pepper and heavy cream), cover it all with an egg-washed pastry crust, and bake it up fresh. It’s traditional comfort food with a French twist. Try it tonight!