Smothered Louisiana Dishes
In French, the word etouffee literally means "smothered," which is a good way to describe this Cajun dish, as it is basically smothered crawfish over rice. Although other forms of seafood may be used, a true etouffee should be made with crawfish. Unlike gumbo, which is made with a dark roux, etouffee is made from a lighter, spicer roux.
A proper etouffee will be orange-colored, with a hint of brown. It should be spicy, as it's main spice ingredient is cayenne pepper, and saucy enough to form a thick gravy for the rice. However, take note that it is not gumbo, and should not be served like soup. The gravy in etouffee is much thicker than the roux of a gumbo.
Shrimp Creole is similar to that of an etouffee or a gumbo, except, like most creole dishes, the base is largely made up of tomatoes. Shrimp is generally used, but other meats or seafoods may be substituted. Creoles are always served over rice. The sauce is thinner than that of an etouffee, but it still should not be eaten as soup or stew.
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