Monday, February 16, 2009

Shrimp Creole

Fresh shrimp, cooked in a spicy Creole tomato sauce and served over a bed of hot steaming rice. Served here with my cucumber and onion salad, sweet tea and hot French bread.

Shrimp Creole

Folks down here make shrimp creole in all sorts of ways - some are very thin and soupy, others are thick and much more dry - but without a doubt all include The Trinity. I think that mine falls right in the middle, a little on the thick side but not dry.

True to many of our seafood dishes along the Gulf Coast, this one has a goodly little kick to it, not so much to burn your mouth or take over the flavor of the dish, though you might just clear out your sinuses a bit, so adjust those spicy seasonings down if you want to tone down the heat.

Gulf shrimp are number one for me, living here on the Gulf Coast, but if you're using a packaged, frozen shrimp, I know you've heard me talk about using shrimp from the United States and not from a foreign source. You'll find out where your shrimp are from if you flip over the package and usually way down the back corner somewhere you'll find the words "product of" and the country of origin. If you have only ever eaten imported seafood in my humble opinion, you've never really eaten seafood - I know because I've tasted that stuff. Foreign imported seafood is often not well regulated and chemical laden, but usually cheap though remember, you get what you pay for, so buy American and when you can, try our wild caught Gulf shrimp. I'm pretty partial to it myself.

For this dish you'll want a good size medium shrimp - somewhere around 31-35 count at the largest really - but please for all that is holy, don't use jumbo shrimp in a dish like this. It's not appropriate and doesn't let the flavor of the Creole sauce shine through. Save those colossals and jumbos for some New Orleans style barbecue shrimp or for grilling or stuffing.

Here's how to make my fabulous shrimp creole. I hope that you enjoy it!

First, peel and devein a pound of shrimp. You'll want a medium sized shrimp for this dish - about 30 count to a pound. A shrimp peeler makes an easy job of this if you are using fresh shrimp. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towels to remove most of the moisture. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large skillet.

Chop up 'The Trinity' - onion, bell pepper and celery.

Add to the skillet and saute until tender, about 4-5 minutes.

To that add a large can of whole tomatoes that have been crushed in the food processor, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic and a bay leaf. You can also just use a can of crushed tomatoes, but I always have cans of whole tomatoes in the pantry so that's usually what I use.

Stir together, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

Until sauce has reduced and thickened. If you like more sauce, double the sauce portion of this recipe.

In a separate bowl make a slurry of 1 tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of water.

Add that to the tomato and veggie mixture and stir in well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the shrimp with Cajun seasoning (this is totally optional) but do this just before you are going to add them to the skillet. Otherwise, the salt in the seasoning blend will pull all of the moisture out of your shrimp and make them miserably dry. Don't want that!

Add the shrimp to the tomato veggie mixture together with a couple dashes of hot sauce and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Stir together well and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque.

Chop some parsley and slice up some green onion.

Add to the shrimp mixture and stir together until mixed and warmed through.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Recipe: Shrimp Creole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 servings

  • 1 pound of (31-35 count) medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning, or to taste
  • Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce, optional, to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Hot, steamed rice

Peel and devein the shrimp, rinsing well. Pat dry with some paper towels and set aside.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil and butter together over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, green bell pepper and celery and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Whirl the tomatoes through the food processor just until crushed, leaving some texture; add to the veggie mixture. Add the salt, cayenne pepper, garlic and bay leaf and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until reduced and thickened.

To thicken, make a slurry of the flour and water and stir into the tomato mixture. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and add immediately to the tomato mixture. Add a couple of shakes of the Worcestershire sauce and the hot sauce, and stir together. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and cooked through. Stir in the green onion and parsley and keep on low until well incorporated and heated through. Serve over steamed rice with hot French bread and butter and a salad.

Cook's Note: Double the sauce portion if desired for a wetter sauce.


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©Deep South Dish
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A shrimp peeling tool makes an easy job of peeling and deveining small to medium sized, fresh, raw shrimp, all in one swoop!
Posted by on February 16, 2009

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  1. I just found your blog, and I just love your site. I made your Husband Pleasin' Ranch Style Beans and it was sure pleain' to the husband. He can't wait until I make it again. Looking forward to making more of your recipes.

  2. Hi Gigi and welcome! So glad you tried them and especially that you came back to let me know. That's so sweet. Please come back often!!

  3. My goodness this looks good. Can't wait to try.

  4. Very delish! I made this a while back it was very good and super easy!

  5. Hi Mary! I had a request for some Cajun food so I knew exactly where to go :) I'm going to give this dish a try!

  6. It's good stuff Gina! Actually it's pretty low fat too as is.

  7. I noticed that, I'm going to post this week and link back to you :)

  8. How many servings does this make? I didn't see anywhere on the's hard to say, with 1 LB. of shrimp..probably 4 servings? Just guessing.

  9. Hi Sharon - yes, probably about 4 to 6 depending on appetites and what else you serve with it.

  10. Just found your blog and I love it! I made your shrimp creole last night and it turned out great! Super easy too. Thanks for posting flavorful yet simple recipes - they are my favorite!

  11. You're welcome Ashley! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and comment!! I appreciate that.

  12. Hi there, I make shrimp creole all the time. our recipes are almost identical. I add my flour dry and onto the cooked trinity though. I have had difficulty with this part, the slurry will make this much much easier.

    I make a simple cheese sauce to serve with this. I combine simple white american cheese slices to milk and flour and heat until thick. I drizzle this over the shrimp creole after plating. It may sound a bit odd, but it compliments PERFECTLY!

  13. I like the idea of the cheese sauce TJ - thanks!

  14. Just made this today for my husband. He French Indian with Creole and let me tell you this came out so good. I made some changes I use some chicken broth and chipotle seasoning. This is a definitely a keeper. This was my first time ever making Creole food

    1. Oh I'm so glad Lizette & thanks so much for coming back to let me know!

  15. Made this several months ago and it was excellent. Only variation was no fresh parsley, not that I don't like it but the 2 grocery stores here in Podunk didn't have any. Time to head back to Quality Seafood for some more peeled shrimp. They are great for shrimp Creole and gumbo.

    1. That's where I get my seafood from too Dalton, since dad and my hubby aren't shrimping now. Sure do miss that exchange of labor for "free" shrimp though - seafood prices even here are outrageous anymore! Keep hoping Dad will buy a new boat but it's just so much work so doubtful. I'm just grateful to have access to fresh seafood even if it costs me!

  16. I Just Want The Recipe For Home Made Noodles

  17. I just finished the last bite, and it was delicious! I did run the sauce through the blender prior to the slurry and shrimp, as I prefer a smoother consistency. Hands down, the best homemade Shrimp Creole I have ever had. Going to be doing this a lot during Lent. Thank you!

    1. You're welcome & thank you so much for taking the time to come back by and let me know that you enjoyed it. I really appreciate that!

  18. Sounds yummy! Making New Years Eve! Thanks for posting!

    1. You're welcome - hope y'all enjoy it as much as we do!!

  19. tried a shrimp creole recipe in Baton Rouge cookbook. messed up. Sauce is too dry, like a paste. Shrimp are white, too dry. so served it once. now have leftover. what do i add today to thin out that "sauce"?????

    1. Hi Janie! Since the shrimp are already cooked, and possibly overcooked since you say they are dry, the only way to possibly salvage the whole dish at all is to make a fresh sauce, separate from the current one, and then add the leftovers with the shrimp and only long enough to warm the shrimp through. Don't boil it just simmer. To try to thin the sauce down as it is, will just cook the shrimp even more. When you make a creole sauce again, prepare the sauce to the consistency that you like first, and only add the shrimp when it gets there, cooking it just a few minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. Hope that helps!

  20. thanks for your reply. don't know how to find it on your site to reply again. I am not an experienced cook. So “make a fresh sauce”—does that mean just add another can of tomatoes to that “paste”? or I read about shrimp stock. I have the shrimp peels in the freezer to throw away. I could get them out, rinse them, and boil them, strain, and add that to the dry sauce????

    1. Yes, making a stock from the shells would add a lot of flavor for sure but you'll want to include the classic stock veggies in with the water and shells or it will be a bit bland (see my shrimp stock here) if you are going to go that route. Then you wouldn't need to add additional tomatoes.

      I don't know how much you have leftover of course, but what I was referring to was starting a brand new sauce, including the vegetables and seasonings, and letting that simmer for the flavors to meld together, such as in my recipe above, and then adding the leftovers to that to warm through.

  21. Love Shrimp Creole. Have used the same recipe for years, but am going to try yours. It looks soooooooooooo good!

    1. I'm sure they must be fairly similar, but I'll be anxious to hear what you think Deanna!

  22. Tried this a little while ago and my fiancé loved it! ! Making it again tonight perhaps with a little chicken breast! !


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