Luck Be a Spare Key Tonight (Shrimp Étouffée Recipe)

I’m not what you’d call “lucky”. I don’t win raffles, I’ve never found a $100 bill and no one’s showed up at my house yet with that sweepstakes check that I’ve been promised now like 300 times… (I’m on to you, random “to current resident” letters…if you don’t know my name, how can you possibly know I’ve won anything…hmm..)

Back to my bad luck. Last night I took the pup for a run. It was a gorgeous day and I was excited to get some bonding time in with the handsome little fellow while getting in my workout. I knew I had to hustle though, because it was my father-in-law’s birthday and the Mr. would be home soon to go to dinner. I picked up my cell phone to leave a message for said husband that went as follows:
“Hey hun, taking the dog for a run, be home in like 40 minutes. Locking the door- hope you have your key, see you when you get here!” Click. Phone on counter. Door locked. Gettin’ my run on.
About 40 minutes later, as promised, we huffed back to the house and as I went to turn the door knob, I found an upsetting thing…it was still locked.

After about 10 minutes of my dog giving me the stink eye and panting heavily, I asked a neighbor for some water. I jealously watched him quench his little puppy thirst, wishing I’d asked for water for myself. I waited another 20 minutes, during which I proceeded to perform walking lunges across the distance of my backyard followed by awkward squats. Whats an awkward squat you ask? Have you ever tried doing squats while holding onto a 90lb dog who has a fancy for chasing wildlife? Bonus: core strengthener.

So after about 45 minutes of (not so) patiently waiting, I decided I should probably mosey back to the neighbors and make a phone call. Here’s a little recap:

Brandon: “Hey where are you??? I’ve called you like 10 times!”
Me: “Oh, did you by chance listen to your message?”
Brandon: “Yes, you took the dog for a walk. I’ve been freaking out thinking you were abducted! Who’s number is this?? Is this a ransom call??”
Me: <long silence> “I’m not coming to dinner.”

Does that make me a bad wife? Maybe. But at least I know how to listen to a voicemail.

So now onto ways that I am lucky:

  • I do actually have a pretty amazing husband. And even when he doesn’t listen, he still has the cutest dimples I’ve ever seen which conveniently can instantly make me forget why I was angry
  • I also have the best mom in the world who teaches me how to cook really delicious things
  • One of those things is Shrimp Étouffée
  • I now know how to make Shrimp Étouffée and am going to share with you!
  • Don’t you feel lucky… 🙂

Shrimp Étouffée

(Adapted from:
You’ll need:
2 pounds shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pint clam juice
2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
3 green onions, chopped
Hot sauce (we used Crystal)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes (this added the perfect touch!)
Pinch of fresh cilantro
Pinch of Thai basil (these were last-minute add-ons as well from the garden, & they added nice flavor)

Dice up your veggies. Then make a roux by heating oil in a heavy pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, making sure there no clumps. Let this cook, stirring constantly, until it turns brown (takes about 10 minutes).

Add the celery, green pepper, jalapeno and onion; mix well and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook another 2 more minutes.

Slowly add the clam juice, stirring constantly. Add enough to make a sauce about the thickness of syrup, about 1 pint.

Add the Creole seasoning and paprika; mix well. Add salt to taste, then stir in the shrimp. This is where we got stuck on the flavor, and me being the culinary genius I am (and so modest too) had the brilliant idea to add the diced tomato. The acidity of the tomatoes added the perfect balance that we were looking for (as luck would have it.)

Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Add onions and hot sauce to taste. Serve over white or brown rice.

So you see, sometimes I can get lucky. And I have a feeeling if you make this for your significant other, you migh get lucky. Haaa…

*EDIT: I also left my windows down last night since I was, you know, planning on going out again… and it rained. A lot.
Yesterday- 1, Jess- 0.

*EDIT 2: A special thank you to my Biff, who we wisely decided to give a spare key, and totally saved the day and let me inside. LOVE YOU BOO!!

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I am JESSICA. Psst..My dogs are cute.

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