Etoufee is traditionally made with shrimp, but I’m more likely to have a bag of prawns in my freezer, so this is my version. The trick to a good etoufee is not to rush the sauce, which should be the consistency of a good gravy – not too thick, not too thin. Be generous with the salt and pepper, too.
4 fat cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced finely
2 tbsp oil
200g frozen peppers, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced, or a pinch of the dried stuff
2 rounded tbsp flour
1 level tbsp paprika
500ml chicken stock
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
400g chopped tomatoes
Fistful of parsley
Salt and black pepper
Saute the garlic and onion in the oil on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the peppers and chilli and cook low and slow until it all start to soften.
Add the flour and paprika, and stir quickly to make a rough paste. Add a little splash of stock to loosen, and beat to smooth out any lumps. Repeat, adding enough stock to thin to a gravy consistency. The sauce will thicken as it heats, so don’t worry if you have a lot of stock left – you can add it later.
Stir in the mixed herbs, then add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, then leave for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the prawns and heat through.
Remove from the heat, add the parsley and generously season. Serve with rice.
Published in G2 magazine for the Guardian, May 2014. Photography by Graham Turner for The Guardian.