you can start both of these dishes off with a roux but if you don't have time here are two alternate ways to thicken the sauce: 1) shrimp etouffee: serves 4-6 ingredients: 1 stick butter unsalted 2 medium onions chopped 1 celery rib finely chopped 3 garlic cloves minced 1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeno pepper minced 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 1 14 oz can italian chopped tomatoes -- juices reserved 1 tablespoon sweet paprika (or emerils essence) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper pinch cayenne pepper or more if you like 2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined 4 scallions chopped 1/2 cup parsley chopped 3 cups rice cooked 1. in a heavy nonreactive skillet, melt the butter. add the onions and celery and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. 2. add garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2-3 minutes. add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes (like a roux but vegetables have been added first....also you may want to add a little oil -- higher burn point than butter). 3. stir in tomatoes and their juice, the paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne. bring to a light boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes. 4. add shrimp and stir until they curl and turn pink, 2-4 minutes. stir in the scallions and parsley and serve over cooked rice. you can also substitute crawfish tails as well or mix both shrimp and crawfish. 2) court of two sisters shrimp creole: yield 8 servings: ingredients: 1 stick butter 1 cup chopped green peppers 1 cup chopped onions 1 cup diced celery 1 cup diced shallots 2 cups canned tomatoes juices reserved 1 cup tomato puree or 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 bay leaves 3 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp 2 ounces cornstarch 1 pint cold water or shrimp stock 1 ounce lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less if you like) 1. on medium to medium high heat, melt the butter and saute the peppers, onions, celery and shallots for 5 minutes. 2. add the tomatoes and tomato puree or paste and bay leaves and simmer for 15 minutes. 3. dissolve the cornstarch in cold water or shrimp stock; add to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. 4. add the shrimp, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and the cayenne and simmer for 15-20 minutes more (shrimp should be done and not overcooked since temperature is at a simmer rather than a boil). serve over steamed rice or creamed potatoes.