This thick shellfish stew is a Cajun and Creole classic, and easy to recreate at home if you take your time
Etouffee is traditionally made with shrimps, but I use prawns. The trick is not to rush the sauce, which should be the consistency of a good gravy.
(Serves 4) 96p a portion
4 fat cloves of garlic, minced, 12p
1 onion, sliced finely, 9p
2 tbsp oil, 6p
200g peppers, sliced, 40p
1 red chilli, sliced 9p
2 rounded tbsp flour, 6p
1 level tbsp paprika, 10p
500ml chicken stock, 2p
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs, 10p
400g chopped tomatoes, 31p
300g prawns, £2.25
Fistful of parsley, 20p
Salt and black pepper, 2p
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.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010