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.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack
Published in G2 magazine for the Guardian, May 2014. Photography by Graham Turner for The Guardian.