Several things set this apart from a typical Shrimp Stew. Adding tomato paste to the roux at the end, fresh grated nutmeg, and home made shrimp stock, a recipe for which you can find here. I don’t usually make the shrimp stock on the day I’m making this because this is supposed to be a pretty quick & easy recipe if you have the stock on hand. My MO is to make ahead and freeze (and that goes for all stocks I have time to make). If you can’t do that you can check out Kitchen Basics Seafood Broth or Better than Bouillon’s version. If none are available water will do fine.
As always, first you make the roux. You’ll mix the flour into the oil and cook over a low flame until it’s the color of a football (approximately) then stir in the tomato paste and let it cook for a minute.
Next in are the vegetables. The heat from the roux will soften them up after a few minutes then it’ll be time for the tomato/shrimp broth dump. Stir those in well and add all the seasonings. Let cook until it smells insanely good then add the potatoes. And note that the pictured amounts are for half the stated recipe. This half amount will feed four if you’re serving other courses.
- For the roux:
- ½ cup vegetable oil (or olive oil, butter, lard)
- ½ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- For the stew:
- 1½ cup chopped onion
- ⅔ cup white part of green onions, sliced
- ⅓ cup chopped celery (including leaves if possible)
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with liquid (or 3 cups peeled, seeded & diced fresh tomatoes)
- 3 cups shrimp stock (or water)
- 2½ tsps. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne (or red pepper flakes)
- 3 bay leaves (or ½ tsp. powdered bay leaf)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme (or 3 springs of fresh thyme)
- several gratings of fresh nutmeg
- 2 lbs. white potatoes, peeled & cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 lbs. whole fresh medium or small shrimp, peeled & deveined**
- 1 tsp. lemon juice (or vinegar)
- For the Garnish:
- sliced green onion
- finely chopped parsley
- In a heavy bottomed 6 to 8 quart pot, heat the oil and stir in the flour. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until the roux is peanut butter colored.
- Whisk in the tomato paste and cook for about a minute then add the onions, celery, and garlic.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes then add the tomatoes* with their juice (if using canned) & shrimp stock, seasonings & lower the heat cooking for half an hour, then add potatoes and cook until done. The potatoes will take about 15 minutes depending on how finely they are cut. Smaller equals faster.
- Add the shrimp and cook for five minutes.
- Finally, add lemon juice, chopped parsley, and chopped green onion to taste.
**If you have only large shrimp cut them in half.