Lobster Étouffée

Lobster Étouffée

Lobster Étouffée excerpted from Northern Soul: Southern-Inspired Home Cooking from a Northern Kitchen: A Cookbook by Justin Sutherland.

Northern Soul: Southern-Inspired Home Cooking from a Northern Kitchen: A Cookbook

In 90+ soul-satisfying recipes, beloved Top Chef star, chef, and restaurateur Justin Sutherland offers his take on easy Southern-inspired home cooking…with a Northern Twist.

Justin owns multiple restaurants in the Twin Cities, though his reputation is national. You may know him from television, where he won an Iron Chef episode, competed on Season 16 of Top Chef, and is one of the chefs featured on Fast Foodies and is producer and host of Taste the Culture, both airing on TruTV/TBS.

In his highly anticipated first cookbook, Justin shares the inspiration and foundation behind his approach to his signature Southern cooking, which includes his upbringing in the Northern Midwest and the South, as well as his African-American and Asian heritage.

Northern Soul features his signature recipes for lunch, brunch, dinner, snacks, late-night meals, and cocktail recipes. Justin shares how you can make easy, traditional Southern recipes with a Northern flair, in your own kitchen. From recipes like Chicken and Waffles and Creole Jambalaya to Bourbon Pecan Pie with Maple Whip and Hot Mac and Cheese, plus spice blends, sauces, rubs and pickles, you’ll learn just how deliciously southern soul and northern heart blend.

Northern Soul: Southern-Inspired Home Cooking from a Northern Kitchen: A Cookbook is available at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Indigo.ca.   

Lobster Étouffée

6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter

2 cups (320 g) diced white onion

1 cup (150 g) diced green pepper

1 cup (120 g) diced celery

4 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour

2 cups (390 g) uncooked white rice

2 quarts (1.9 L) shellfish stock, seafood stock, or fish stock

1 (15.5 ounce / 439 g) can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons (36 g) Cajun Seasoning, recipe page 22

1 tablespoon (15 g) habanero hot sauce, such as Cry Baby Craig’s Hot Sauce

1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons (28 ml)

Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice

8 ounces (225 g) frozen and thawed lobster claw meat

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 small to medium lobster tails

4 lemon wedges


Étouffée means stuffed or smothered. This dish is smothered in deliciousness, not to mention topped with a whole lobster tail. This ain’t your grandma’s étouffée.


  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons (55 g) of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Whisk in the flour until a roux just begins to form, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  2. Cook the rice according to the package instructions and keep warm, if necessary, until it is needed.
  3. Add the stock to the vegetable-roux mixture and stir thoroughly, taking care that there are no lumps in the roux. Add the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons (24 g) of the Cajun Seasoning, hot sauce, thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the lobster meat and cook for 5 minutes more. Add some additional stock if the sauce is too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep the mixture warm over low heat.
  5. With kitchen scissors, cut a slit in the top of each lobster tail from the front to the end of the tail. Using a fork or spoon, pull the tail meat out through the slit and let it rest on top of the shell.
  6. Preheat the broiler to 500°F (250°C). Meanwhile, transfer the tails to a broiler-ready sheet pan. In a separate pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 g) of butter. Brush this butter onto the lobster tail meat and sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon (12 g) of Cajun Seasoning on top. Broil the tails for 6 to 8 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.
  7. Divide the rice among 4 plates. Pour the sauce over the rice and top each serving with a lobster tail. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Harvard Common Press.

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