As part of my communications gig at NAIT, I occasionally contribute to the school’s techlife magazine. The print editions publish twice a year, and then there are new articles added to the website year-round.
Recipes for blackened catfish and shrimp etouffee from the chef of Creole Envie
published July 2013 as a techlife magazine web exclusive
by Linda Hoang
When the food comes out at Danielle Majeau’s restaurant Creole Envie, located in Edmonton’s Highlands neighbourhood, Majeau says some exclaim, “How do I eat all this food?” Her tip for handling the tasty heaps of Louisiana-inspired cuisine is simple: “Honey, just open your mouth and loosen your pants.”
The restaurant will mark its one-year anniversary in October, and the Cook grad (class of ’04) says more Edmontonians are becoming interested in Creole cuisine – “especially the fried chicken,” she says. These days, the restaurant serves up 25 kilos of fried chicken each week, bringing Majeau closer to her goal to become the Queen of Fried Chicken in Edmonton.
Earlier this summer, she helped get the word out about southern comfort food by leading a workshop at Taste of Edmonton. Majeau says the event gave her a chance to do something she loves, but rarely gets to do.
“I don’t always have time to talk to tables at the restaurant, so now I have a chance to interact with people and show them what I do and how we make people happy at the restaurant.”
Those who attended the workshop made blackened catfish and shrimp etouffee, and went home with the dishes and a cup of the restaurant’s Creole spice. “They walk away with a free ticket to Louisiana, essentially, without even having to get on a plane,” Majeau says. “They get my recipes which I don’t give out – unless it’s to techlife.”
Try Majeau’s blackened catfish and shrimp etouffee recipes below.
Recipe: Blackened Catfish
6-8 catfish fillets, thinly sliced
5 mL (1 tsp) crushed dried thyme leaves
5 mL (1 tsp) cayenne pepper
5 mL (1 tsp) black pepper
5 mL (1 tsp) salt
2 mL (1/2 tsp) garlic powder
2 mL (1/2 tsp) onion powder
2 mL (1/2 tsp) paprika
125 mL (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 cast-iron skillet
1 mixing bowl
Rinse catfish fillets under running cold water then pat dry with paper towels. Make your seasoning mixture by combining crushed dried thyme leaves, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika in a small bowl.
Brush melted butter lightly over catfish fillets and sprinkle with blackened seasoning mix. Repeat for other side. Completely coat each fillet.
Heat iron skillet until very hot, about 10 minutes. Pour in leftover butter. Carefully place the catfish fillets into the skillet and cook for about four minutes on each side. This blackened seasoning will produce plenty of smoke, so another way to tell when to turn over you fillets is when the smoke turns grey.
Add lemon juice to the top of each fillet. Serve over white steamed rice, or with caesar or garden salad and baked potato.
Recipe: Shrimp Etouffee
Shrimp Stock (for the etouffee) – Ingredients
Shells and tails from 900 g (2 lb) of shrimp
125 mL (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
60 mL (1/4 cup) celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon, sliced
2 fresh bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
5 mL (1 tsp) black peppercorns
Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Cover with 1.5-2 L (6-8 cups) cold water. You’ll need 125 mL (1/2 cup) for the etouffee. Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 45-60 minutes. Strain.
Tip: When adding fresh thyme to a simmered dish like this, bundle the thyme tightly with butcher’s twine. The leaves will remove themselves while cooking, and you will get all of the flavour from the stems. When ready to serve just remove the bundle of stems along with your bay leaves.
Etouffee – Ingredients
30 mL (2 tbsp) Creole seasoning
60 mL (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
125 mL (1/2 cup) onion, finely chopped
60 mL (1/4 cup) celery, finely chopped
60 mL (1/4 cup) bell pepper, finely chopped
60 mL (1/4 cup) flour
175 mL (3/4 cup) fresh tomatoes, diced
375 mL (1½ cups) shrimp stock
30 mL (2 tbsp) minced garlic
1 bundle of fresh thyme
10 mL (2 tsp) homemade Worcestershire sauce
5 mL (1 tsp) hot sauce (I like Crystal or Louisiana Gold)
125 mL (1/2 cup) green onions, thinly sliced
45 mL (3 tbsp) minced Italian parsley
900 g (2 lb) good quality shrimp, peeled and deveined
45 mL (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Season the shrimp with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the Creole seasoning. Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet, add the onions, bell pepper and celery, sauté until translucent. Whisk in the flour to make a blonde roux, stirring constantly, about three to five minutes. Stir in the remaining Creole seasoning.
Add a small amount of the shrimp stock, stir well to form a paste, add the remaining stock gradually, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. You may need a little more stock, but the end result should be the consistency of a gravy.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, Worcestershire and hot sauces, a little salt, black pepper and cayenne. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add the shrimp, green onions and parsley, simmer for 10 minutes more or until the shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Serve over rice. Serves four as an appetizer or two as a large entree.