One of the first things I learned about Joe is his love for cajun/creole food. I didn’t grow up with it and neither did he but his family traveled quite a lot and he had opportunities to experience many different cultures and local flavors. He always remembered the spicy flavors of New Orleans as one of his favorite trips. Joe and I went to New Orleans a few years back and we sampled many of the delectable dishes that the locals enjoy. The etouffee was so memorable and one of the best things I ever ate. To make it easier on myself and anyone else who is intimidated with cajun or creole cooking I broke the recipe down into 3 parts. First I started by making the broth earlier in the day. Once the roux and stew/gravy comes together it should simmer for 20 minutes giving sufficient time to make the rice. And lastly the shrimp was cooked separately which only took a few minutes from start to finish and was ready at just the right time to top the bowl off. I found that the shrimp was cooked perfectly and did not overcook as it might have if simmered in the gravy for a longer period of time. I thought it was visually appealing with the layered rice and etouffee gravy topped by the shrimp. As with most dishes that have a spice blend the flavors develop over time. The first bowl needed a little kick so I added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, however when we had leftovers the next day, all the flavors had time to meld together and it tasted even better.