Making étouffée is a perfect introduction to cooking. Étouffée is a perfect introduction to the culture of Louisiana. This recipe makes pleasant and rich food. The trinity and the bell peppers are sautéed. The French sweat their vegetables at a lower temperature. This releases their flavor without caramelizing the vegetables. The Creole and Cajun recipes that I have been cooking caramelize the vegetables by sautéing them over medium-high heat. Vegetables are sweat over less than medium heat. Caramel is candy. Caramelizing vegetables makes them sweet. The explanation requires science because a chemical reaction occurs. The sweet and hot flavors from the vegetables and peppers travel through stock thickened with a brown roux. The étouffée is meaty, sweet, and the étouffée is just hot enough for people to know that there is something exciting happening while they eat.
The corn cakes are amazing. The flavors of buttermilk, green onions and corn make me happy. Rotisserie chicken or shrimp and premade chicken or seafood stock can be substituted perfectly in this recipe. See the link to the video in the citations for chef Tanya in Chicago to see what you can make once you have experience working with the culture of Louisiana.