108 RIVER SHRIMP AND POTATO STEW | Hooks, Lies & Alibis with Chef John Folse | LPB
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Monday, December 10, 2018
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Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Yields: 4 Servings

As common as red beans and rice, potato stew became a pleasant substitution on that Monday wash day in Louisiana. Both dishes could be cooked in the black iron pot next to the wash kettle, making lunch a little easier. During the spring of the year, river shrimp were often added to create a magnificent shrimp and potato stew. River shrimp are totally different from Gulf shrimp with a soft-textured flesh and a distinct, sweeter flavor than saltwater shrimp. These freshwater shrimp run during the “June Rise,” the period when the Mississippi River swells from the snow melts up North. From the middle of May until mid July these shrimp swim upriver from around Lafitte, La., and St. Bernard Parish to Baton Rouge, laying their eggs in the trees and grassy areas along the riverbank. Louisianians of the River Parishes boil river shrimp and also eat them in gumbo, as stuffing for eggplant, mirliton and bell peppers or to season vegetable dishes such as butterbeans.

1½ pounds (70–90 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 potatoes, cubed
2 tbsps vegetable oil
1 cup diced onions
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
2 tbsps minced garlic
½ pound smoked sausage, sliced
¾ cup oil-less roux
2 quarts shellfish stock
¼ cup sliced green onions
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste

In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and minced garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring constantly. Add sausage and cook 5 minutes or until slightly browned. Add roux and stir until moistened. Add stock and potatoes. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes become so tender that some are dissolved to thicken the stock. Add shrimp, green onions and parsley. Cook 5–10 additional minutes or until shrimp are pink and curled. Season to taste using salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. Serve hot over steamed white rice.

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