Mouth-Watering Shrimp Stew Recipe: Willie Mae’s Secret

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’ll be sharing with you the recipe for one of my all-time favorite dishes – Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, you might have heard of Willie Mae’s Scotch House, a restaurant that has been serving locals and tourists alike for over 60 years. This recipe is a tribute to the restaurant’s legendary shrimp stew – a dish that has become a staple of New Orleans cuisine.

In this recipe, we’ll be using fresh ingredients like shrimp, russet potatoes, fresh tomatoes, green onions, and more to create a rich and flavorful stew that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. The dish is seasoned with cayenne pepper, garlic, and other spices to give it a kick of heat and depth of flavor.

Whether you’re a seafood lover or simply looking to try something new, this recipe is sure to impress. So, let’s get started and bring a taste of New Orleans to your kitchen!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Willie Mae's Shrimp Stew
Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew

I know that shrimp stew might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about comfort food, but trust me when I say that you’re going to love this recipe. Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew is a dish that will warm your belly and your soul.

First of all, the combination of fresh shrimp, russet potatoes, and veggies like green onions, green peppers, and celery is unbeatable. The flavors all blend together in the most wonderful way, creating a dish that’s hearty, flavorful, and satisfying.

But what sets Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew apart from other stews is the use of tomato puree and tomato paste. These ingredients add a depth of flavor that you won’t find in other stews. And if you like a little bit of heat, the cayenne pepper in this recipe gives it just the right amount of kick.

But here’s the real reason why you’re going to love this recipe: it’s versatile. You can serve it with rice, beans, or even a side of buttered bread. You can make a vegan version by substituting vegan butter for the regular butter, and using butter beans instead of shrimp. And if you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can swap it out for chicken or even catfish.

Lastly, this recipe is a classic New Orleans dish that’s been perfected over generations. Willie Mae’s Scotch House has been serving up some of the best fried chicken in America since the 1950s, and their shrimp stew is just as legendary. By making this recipe, you’re not just enjoying a delicious meal, but you’re also celebrating the rich food culture of New Orleans.

So go ahead and give Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew a try. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 Dive into a bowl of Willie Mae's Shrimp Stew, packed with savory, spicy goodness.
Dive into a bowl of Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew, packed with savory, spicy goodness.

Ingredients List

Here is a list of ingredients you need to make Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew Recipe:
Shrimp: 1 1/2 pounds of medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
Russet potatoes: 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
Fresh tomatoes: 2 medium-sized fresh tomatoes, diced
Tomato puree: 1 can (14 oz) of tomato puree
Tomato paste: 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
Green onions: 4 green onions, sliced
Green pepper: 1 large green pepper, diced
Yellow onion: 1 large yellow onion, chopped
Celery: 3 stalks of celery, chopped
Garlic cloves: 3 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil: 3 tablespoons of olive oil
Cayenne pepper: 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Fresh parsley: chopped, for garnish

Note that the shrimp is the star of the show, so be sure to get the freshest you can find. You can use fresh or canned tomatoes, but I recommend using fresh for better flavor. Also, don’t forget the cayenne pepper, which adds a kick of spice to the dish.

The Recipe How-To

 This stew will warm your soul, and your taste buds will thank you.
This stew will warm your soul, and your taste buds will thank you.

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to cook Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew. Here’s how to do it step-by-step:

Prep the Vegetables

Step 1: Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, sauté 3 minced garlic cloves until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 2: Add chopped 1 large yellow onion, 1 large green pepper, and 3 chopped stalks of celery to the pot. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Cook the Shrimp

Step 3: Add 2 cups of tomato puree, 1 can of tomato paste, and 2 chopped fresh tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine.

Step 4: Add 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the pot. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

Add Potatoes and Garnish

Step 5: Add 2 peeled and diced russet potatoes to the pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Step 6: Stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and 1/4 cup chopped green onions. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy

Step 7: Ladle the shrimp stew into bowls and serve with your choice of side dish like red beans and rice. You can also pair it with a piece of crusty bread or cornbread.

Enjoy the taste of New Orleans with this classic Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew recipe.

Substitutions and Variations

 This shrimp stew is the perfect combination of creamy, zesty, and succulent flavors.
This shrimp stew is the perfect combination of creamy, zesty, and succulent flavors.

This Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew recipe is already a delicious and flavorful dish, but if you’re looking to switch things up or cater to certain dietary restrictions, there are a few substitutions and variations you can make.

For a vegetarian or vegan version of this stew, you can substitute the shrimp with vegan protein such as tofu or tempeh. Instead of using butter, you can use vegan butter or olive oil to sauté the vegetables. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a meat-free option.

If you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can substitute it with other types of seafood such as crab meat, scallops, or even lobster. For a heartier stew, you can add in chicken or beef, making it a surf and turf dish.

For those who are looking to cut down on carbs, you can substitute the russet potatoes with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or cauliflower. You can also add in other vegetables such as carrots or zucchini for added nutrition and texture.

If you prefer a spicier kick to your stew, you can increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add in some red pepper flakes. For a milder version, you can omit the cayenne pepper altogether.

Lastly, you can add in some extra toppings to your stew to make it even more flavorful. Chopped fresh parsley, green onions, or a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning can add an extra pop of flavor to the dish.

Overall, this recipe is versatile and adaptable, making it a great option for any dietary needs or preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to slurp on this delicious and hearty stew, made with fresh shrimp and a secret blend of spices.
Get ready to slurp on this delicious and hearty stew, made with fresh shrimp and a secret blend of spices.

Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew is a hearty and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other complementary sides. Traditionally served with a side of white rice, the dish can also be paired with crusty bread or cornbread to soak up all the delicious flavors of the stew.

For a lighter option, consider serving the shrimp stew with a simple side salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. The fresh greens will help balance out the richness of the stew and add a pop of color to the plate.

In terms of drinks, a crisp white wine or light beer pairs well with the dish. Alternatively, a classic New Orleans cocktail like a Sazerac or a Hurricane would be a great addition to any dinner featuring Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew.

If you’re looking to make a full meal out of it, consider serving the stew alongside other New Orleans classics like red beans and rice or butter beans. And for those who prefer a vegetarian or vegan option, substitute the shrimp with hearty vegetables like eggplant or zucchini and use vegan butter instead of traditional butter.

No matter how you choose to serve it, Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew is a versatile dish that is sure to satisfy any craving for bold, flavorful food.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A seafood delight that will make you feel like you're dining by the ocean.
A seafood delight that will make you feel like you’re dining by the ocean.

One of the great things about Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, stored, and reheated for a quick and easy meal later on. This recipe is perfect for meal prep or for those busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.

To make this shrimp stew recipe ahead of time, simply follow the instructions as directed and allow the stew to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The stew will keep in the fridge for up to three days.

When it’s time to reheat the shrimp stew, simply transfer it to a pot and gently heat it up over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the stew from sticking to the bottom of the pot. You can also reheat the stew in the microwave, stirring it every minute or so until it’s heated through.

If you want to freeze the shrimp stew for later use, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. The stew will keep in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat frozen stew, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it using one of the methods mentioned above.

One thing to keep in mind is that the consistency of the stew may change slightly after it has been stored and reheated. The potatoes may break down a bit and the stew may be slightly less thick than when it was first made. However, the flavors will still be delicious and the stew will still make for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Overall, Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew Recipe is a great option for make-ahead meals and for busy weeknights when you need a quick and easy dinner option. Just be sure to store and reheat it properly to ensure the best results.

Tips for Perfect Results

 With each spoonful of this stew, you'll taste the love and passion that went into making it.
With each spoonful of this stew, you’ll taste the love and passion that went into making it.

To ensure that your Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew is a hit, here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect result:

1. Use fresh ingredients: Fresh parsley, shrimp, cayenne pepper, russet potatoes, fresh tomatoes, and other ingredients are essential to bring out the flavors of this dish. Make sure to buy high-quality and fresh ingredients.

2. Don’t overcook the shrimp: Shrimp cooks quickly, so be careful not to overcook them. Overcooked shrimp can become rubbery and tough, ruining the texture of your stew. Cook the shrimp until they are pink and curled.

3. Adjust cayenne pepper to taste: Cayenne pepper adds a bit of heat to the dish. However, some people may not handle too much heat. Adjust the cayenne pepper to your taste, so the stew is not too spicy.

4. Use a heavy-bottomed pot: A heavy-bottomed pot distributes heat evenly, preventing the stew from sticking to the bottom and burning. This will also allow the flavors to blend together perfectly.

5. Let the stew rest: After cooking, let the stew rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld, making it more delicious.

6. Serve with crusty bread or rice: Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew is perfect with crusty bread or rice. The bread or rice will absorb the stew’s flavorful broth, making it even more delicious.

7. Use vegan butter as a substitute: You can make this dish vegan-friendly by using vegan butter instead of regular butter. It will still taste amazing, and you won’t miss the meat.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a flavorful and delicious Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew that everyone will love.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew recipe is a must-try for any seafood lover. This New Orleans classic is packed with flavor and is sure to impress your guests. The combination of fresh parsley, shrimp, cayenne pepper, russet potatoes, fresh tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste, green onions, green pepper, yellow onion, celery, and garlic cloves is simply divine.

Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal to warm you up on a chilly night or a dish to serve at your next dinner party, Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew is the perfect choice. With its rich and flavorful broth, tender chunks of shrimp, and hearty vegetables, this stew is sure to satisfy.

So, what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and whip up a batch of this delicious shrimp stew today. You won’t be disappointed! And don’t forget to pair it with some red beans and rice or a side of vegan butter beans. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Willie Mae’s Shrimp Stew Recipe

Willie Mae’s Scotch House was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It has reopened and the fare is as good as it ever was. The chefs on Yahoo are singing the praises of this dish. If you ever get a chance to go for lunch: Willie Mae’s Scotch House at 2401 St. Ann Street New Orleans, LA 70119

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lbs shrimp, uncooked, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into quarters, then slice each quarter into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  2. In a medium pot, add potatoes and fill with enough cold water to cover the potatoes completely.
  3. Place on stove over medium high heat, bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes until potatoes are slightly tender.
  4. Strain the potatoes and set aside.
  5. In a large sauté pan over a medium high heat add olive oil, celery, onion, green pepper and green onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring until vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  6. Blend in tomato paste, tomato puree, fresh tomatoes, 1 cup water, cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer very slowly, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add parsley, potoatoes and uncooked, shelled, deveined shrimp and continue to cook over low heat for about 7 minutes, just until shrimp turn pink.
  9. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  10. Serve hot over rice.
Main Course
Southern American
< 60 Mins, Healthy, Potato, Spicy, Stove Top, Vegetable

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