Monday, September 21, 2015

Classic Shrimp Creole

I grew up eating Shrimp Creole. My dad liked it and used to make it quite often. It was a dish we all looked forward to, although his recipe including using condensed tomato soup. Since I was after a more "authentic" creole, I decided to try to make my own, and this recipe is the result. The best part is you can have this on the table in under one hour, making it a versatile dish for any day of the week.

Did you know? Shrimp Creole is a dish of Louisiana Creole origin (French, and Spanish Heritage), consisting of cooked shrimp in a mixture of whole or diced tomatoes, the holy trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper, spiced with hot pepper sauce and/or cayenne-based seasoning, and served over steamed or boiled white rice. The shrimp may be cooked in the mixture or cooked separately and added at the end. Other "creole" dishes may be made by substituting some other meat or seafood for the shrimp or omitting the meat entirely.

Creole-type dishes combine the qualities of gumbo and jambalaya. They are typically thicker and spicier than gumbo, and the rice is prepared separately and used as a bed for the creole mixture, rather than cooked in the same pot as with a jambalaya. Creole dishes also do not contain broth or roux; instead, the creole mixture is simmered to its desired degree of thickness. Apart from the foundation ingredients of onion, celery, and bell pepper, creole dishes are free-form "improvisational" dishes, as the basic recipe may be altered to include whatever ingredients the cook has available. (source: Wikipedia)

16-18 Jumbo Shrimp (I use Wild Caught local shrimp)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 - 16 oz. petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste (adds body)
1 tbsp Creole Seasoning (or make your own Creole Seasoning)
1-2 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
2 cups hot-cooked rice

In a large skillet, heat oil and saute celery, onion, and bell pepper for several minutes, or until vegetables are getting soft. Stir in Petite diced tomatoes and tomato paste and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened about 20 minutes.

Add creole seasoning and hot sauce (optional) and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes, adjusting seasonings to taste. Add shrimp and cook just until shrimp are pink (do not overcook).

Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.

Yield: 4 servings


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