Cookin' ATVS Style: Mamere's Shrimp & Potato Stew

Billy Gomila

Works for a Good Friday seafood dinner or some comfort food on a rainy spring night.

I don't really know if the term is ubiquitous around the country or not, but in my neck of the woods Mamere is a grandma or great-grandma nickname. In my family's case, my maternal grandmother's mother, who died long before I was born.

This is not her recipe however. How's that for a fun digression? This one comes from the John Folse Encyclopedia, which we've used a bunch of times in the past. It's relatively simple, however.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs shrimp, peeled & deveined (the book calls for river shrimp, but good luck finding that)
6 potatoes, cubed
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers (I mixed some red & yellow in with the green for some color)
1/4 cup minced garlic
1.5 quarts shellfish stock (I substituted chicken stock, feel free)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt, pepper & granulated garlic to taste

Instructions

1. What else in a Cajun stew? First you make a roux. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over whatever heat you're comfortable with, add the flour and stir constantly until you get a good, rich, dark brown.

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2. Add your diced onions and stir for a couple of minutes as they wilt. If you used low heat for the roux, increase it to at least medium if not slightly higher.

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3. Add the bell peppers and garlic and sauté until wilted. I like to do this step a little after the onions so that the pepper and garlic maintain their flavor better. Over-browned garlic can taste kind of bitter.

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4. Add the stock in small portions at a time while stirring, to keep the mixture from separating and staying at a nice, sauce-like consistency. From there, add your potatoes.

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5. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or so, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Make sure to check them with a fork every so often, as you don't want to overcook.

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6. Check your seasonings and adjust with salt, pepper, granulated garlic or Cajun seasoning to taste. Keep in mind that potatoes absorb a lot of salt. Fold in the shrimp, green onions and parsley and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the shrimp are pink and curled.

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This'll serve about 4-6 people well, maybe more even.

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