Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shrimp Sauce Piquant

If you love heat, you're gonna love Shrimp Sauce Piquant. Piquant translated from French means literally "pricking" and that is what this spicy sauce piquant is meant to do, prick the tongue.
If you love heat, you're gonna love Shrimp Sauce Piquant. Piquant translated from French means literally "pricking" and that is what this spicy sauce piquant is meant to do, prick the tongue.

Shrimp Sauce Piquant

Most of y'all know that I try to keep the Cajun and Creole recipes I feature here with a slight bite, knowing well that many people will take recipes very literally. It is certainly much easier to increase the heat to taste in a spicy recipe than it is to try to take it away! So I try to keep things on the lighter side of spicy here for the general public, and let the reader choose to increase to their own heat level. Sauce piquant is one exception.

While sauce piquant is closely related to it's cousin, Shrimp Creole, with a few subtle differences, there is one major exception. It is intended to be a very highly spiced dish. Chef Paul Prudhomme says "if you don't hover between pleasure and pain when you eat it, chances are you haven't made your sauce piquant hot enough!"

The best flavor for your piquant is going to come from using the freshest ingredients. Fresh Gulf shrimp and stock made from the heads and shells of them, and fresh garden tomatoes that have been slow roasted and pureed will make this dish shine. In a pinch though, commercial seafood, chicken, or even vegetable stock and canned tomato sauce will still make a mighty fine sauce piquant.

Sauce piquant should start with a roux, though it is a very small roux, say in comparison to a gumbo roux, and this is one of those old Cajun recipes that is not intended to be a rushed process. If you work away from home, it's a weekend dish for you, as the flavor of the piquant comes through slow cooking, and the staged periodic addition of the stock, a little at a time. You add stock and then allow it to cook in a bit, before adding additional stock and then repeating the process. This really builds up the flavor and to me, is the secret to a good sauce piquant.

Besides shrimp, this basic sauce can also be used for other seafood such as crab or fish, and a variety of meats as well. The process is just slightly different, and of course, the stock varies depending on what protein you are using. Chicken, duck, alligator, rabbit and even turtle are commonly used, but, unlike seafood, always brown meats first before starting the sauce.

Recipe: Shrimp Sauce Piquant

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 45 min |Cook time: 2 hours | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 2 pounds of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), divided
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups of slow roasted tomatoes, pureed,* or canned tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of shrimp stock*
  • Juice of half a lemon

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the Cajun seasoning. Refrigerate until needed.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed stockpot over medium high heat, stirring in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux becomes a medium brown, caramel colored. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring often until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning and 1 cup of the shrimp stock, bring to a boil and continue at a medium boil, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, return to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

After the first hour, stir in another cup of shrimp stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes longer. Repeat, adding a cup of the stock and cooking another 30 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and cook for another 10 minutes, then add the last cup of stock, bring to a boil, add the shrimp, and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Spoon over rice in bowls and serve with buttered French bread to sop up the juices.

*Cook's Notes: May substitute canned tomato sauce and commercial seafood, chicken or vegetables broth/stock.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Shrimp Creole
Shrimp Spaghetti
Seafood Gumbo

Posted by on August 17, 2010
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  1. Looks like another winner and one I'm sure the spicy loving wife will love. I may have a little problem getting the whole fresh shrimp and the Greenback convenience store though :-)

  2. I had lunch with my cousin at a Mexican restaurant the other day and he drank, yes DRANK, his leftover picante sauce. I have NEVER seen anyone do such a thing! I wonder if he would like this spicy concoction?

    I am looking forward to dinner this evening because Blondie is cooking. He said he's grilling pork chops. The best part about this is that he will clean up the kitchen when he is finished!

  3. I love this dish, looks wonderful :)

  4. Oh, Momma, I'm comin' home!!

  5. I saw your interview over at Roz's blog and had to come for a visit. This looks like a pretty tasty recipe.

  6. Oh my....
    I just want to come over and stay a few days at your house!!!

  7. your recips always make me so happy, mary! eventhough I know I can't eat it at this moment, I can envision eating it some time soon!!


  8. Hey Mary, this Sauce Piquant reminds me of the one my dad used to make, so rich in flavor and always tasty served over fresh cooked rice.

    Bringing back fond memories of great food and wonderful times!

    Bon appetit!

  9. Ohhh this looks GOOD !!! I DEF. will be trying it.

  10. Yum, if only I could eat shellfish, I'd be able to gobble this down in a second. Probably why I can't eat shellfish anymore; I used to sneak in my dad's restaurant kitchen and eat handfulls of shrimp (coctail).

    Also, please stop by my blog; there's a blog hop that I think you'd enjoy participating in.

    Thanks, Roz

  11. Hey, I was over at the BBQ Brethren and they posted this link for the 50 top southern food blogs:


    Way to go! But then again, it doesn't take a culinary arts college to tell me that you rock, I already knew that!

  12. Thanks so much y'all!!

    Chef Ryan, I am honored for the comparison - thank you.

    Roz, I could not imagine that! We consume a LOT of shellfish in this part of the south.

    Thanks Chris! So sweet. Yeah, the author of that blog/website contacted me. I am both honored and humbled to be included in the list.

  13. I thought about this post on Thursday night when BBQ Pitmasters was on and the pitfire challenge made them cook rattlesnake. One of the contestants did a variation of this.

  14. I made this dish last night, and it was AWESOME! We all enjoyed it so much. Thank you for these wonderful recipes! -Pam

    1. Thank you Pamela! It take a little time & tending to but not that bad really - it's worth it though!! I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it & thanks so much for stopping back by and letting me know!

  15. My hubby and I made this for dinner tonight. We are both foodies so when I told hubs I wanted to make the sauce from scratch he was on board! We made the sauce recipe you had linked. We decided if we were going to make this sauce we were going to make extra to freeze because we already knew we were going to love this recipe. So we bought 3 lbs. of vine ripe tomatoes so we have enough to make sauce for this recipe 2 additional times before we need to make more sauce. We did add about a tablespoon and half or there abouts of sugar for the whole batch after pureeing to help with the acidity. But I always add little sugar to all my tomato sauces. We weren't disappointed. WOW this is a tasty dish! Hubby was raving about it. He said "I'm so glad you found this Deep South Dish website because I'm loving all those dishes so far!" haha! We had fresh raw shrimp and we cut the time back a little bit to like 12 minutes on simmer which was perfect. I think the shrimp we had was classified from the market as large (Maybe 26/31) . Thank you Mary another keeper! I was becoming bored with all the recipes I've been collecting from 30+ other sites (including other Southern recipe websites) and then you came along or more like I found you! It's so refreshing and deliciousss!

    1. Thank you so much Kilyena! It really means a lot for you to come back by when you try a recipe to let me know y'all have enjoyed it and I'm especially happy that they have all been hits! I'm so glad that you found Deep South Dish too!!


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