|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 CreoleFolks 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.
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.
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: If you prefer a wetter sauce, add in a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce with the chopped tomatoes and skip the thickening slurry.
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Seafood and Okra Gumbo
|A shrimp peeling tool makes an easy job of peeling and deveining small to medium sized, fresh, raw shrimp, all in one swoop!|
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