2 pounds medium-size shrimp, shells and heads on if possible 6 cups water 1 medium-size yellow onion, quartered 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup chopped yellow onions 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and finely chopped
Peel the shrimp and reserve the shells and heads. Refrigerate the
shrimp and put the shells and heads in a large saucepan. Add the
water, quartered onions, bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon of the salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer,
uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a
fine-mesh strainer. Discard the peelings and set aside the shrimp
Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron pot or enameled
cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Stirring slowly and
constantly, make a roux the color of peanut butter, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery, and cook, stirring
until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shrimp stock and whisk to blend
with the roux. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low
and simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours.
Add the shrimp, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne,
and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the
parsley. Ladle into individual soup bowls, garnish with the chopped
eggs, and serve hot. The stew can also be served over white rice.