Shrimp and Zucchini Pirogues

Recipe courtesy of Fresh from Louisiana by George Graham

Serves 4


Shrimp and Zucchini Pirogue

  • ½ cup (120 g) plus 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter, divided 
  • 1 cup (160 g) diced yellow onion 
  • 1 cup (150 g) diced green bell pepper 
  • 1 cup (120 g) diced celery 
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) unbleached all­purpose flour 
  • 1 cup (240 ml) seafood stock 
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) tomato paste 
  • 1 pound (455 g) jumbo (16/20 count) shrimp, peeled, tail off, and deveined 
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground 
  • black pepper 
  • Dash of hot sauce 
  • ¼ cup (12g) chopped flat-leaf parsley

Fried Shrimp

  • 4 cups (960 ml) canola oil, for frying
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 colossal (8/10 count) shrimp, peeled, tail on, and deveined
  • 2 cups (240 g) cornmeal
  • 1 cup (120 g) unbleached all­
  • purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) Cajun Seasoning Blend 
  • Kosher salt

Zucchini Pirogue and Fries

  • 6 large zucchini, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) Cajun Seasoning Blend (page 231)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups (240 g) unbleached all­
  • purpose flour
  • 1 gallon (3.6 L) canola oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups (800 g) cooked long-grain
  • white rice
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 1 cup (100 g) diced green onion tops

Shrimp and Zucchini Pirogues

Click image to enlarge




In a large cast-iron pot or skillet over medium-high heat, melt½ cup (120 g) of the butter and add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Saute until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, lower the heat to a simmer, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stir to incorporate, and cook the flour until it turns light brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and tomato paste, and stir until you reach a stew-like thickness.

Add the shrimp; stir the mixture to combine. Simmer the shrimp until they cook through and turn pink, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with the cayenne, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. As a final touch, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter along with the chopped parsley. Bring the etouffee back to a simmer and turn off the heat.

Fried Shrimp

In a pot or skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and bring to a temperature of 375°F (190°C).

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add the shrimp. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, and dry seasoning. Add the shrimp and coat them evenly.

Add the shrimp to the oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Zucchini Pirogue and Fries

With a sharp knife, slice off a thin layer lengthwise along the side of 4 of the zucchini, exposing the flesh of the squash. With a teaspoon, scoop out the flesh without penetrating the sides or bottom of the zucchini "boat:' Reserve the scooped-out flesh for later use.

Slice the remaining 2 zucchini by trimming off the ends and cutting them in half through the center. Slice lengthwise until you have thick fry-shaped spears. Sprinkle the raw zucchini fries as well as the inside of each zucchini pirogue with a light dusting of the Cajun seasoning.

In a mixing bowl, add the beaten eggs.

In another mixing bowl, add the flour.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and bring to a temperature of 375°F (190°C).

Dip the zucchini pirogues in the egg wash and coat with egg on the inside as well as the outer peel. Immediately roll in the flour and add to the hot oil. Fry until the zucchini are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack with the hollow side facing down to allow any grease to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Add the reserved zucchini flesh along with the fries to the beaten egg.

Immediately roll in the flour and add to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain on a wire rack and salt immediately.

To assemble, place a zucchini pirogue on a plate and add a scoop of rice to the center of the "boat:' Spoon over a generous portion of shrimp etouffee and top with 3 fried shrimp. Add a few zucchini fries and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprinkle of green onion tops.


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