Shrimp Creole - Shrimp Creole is prevalent around
Houma, La. (my hometown) especially during trawling (shrimp) season.
You'll find Shrimp Creole in many gulf coast restaurants also.
2 pounds med-large shrimp, peeled or shells
on (see note * below)
2- 16 oz. cans stewed tomatoes (chop them good)
2 med. onions chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
2 stalks celery diced
2 cloves garlic diced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
handful of chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper
Louisiana Hot Sauce (optional)
1 tsp. sugar (neutralizes the acid in the tomatoes)
1 cup water or stock (shrimp or chicken)
2 tbs. flour
3 tbs. oil
Cooked white rice
on Shrimp: Before we get started let's talk shrimp. If you have
peeled shrimp just continue with the recipe. If you have
"shells on" shrimp, and, they are a good size [30 count or
better] keep reading.
There are a few things you can do to
enhance the flavor of this dish. First you can rinse the shrimp and
clip the tails before the final tail joint and throw them in like
that. Understand that you'll have to peel them before you eat them.
This technique allows the gravy to be absorbed by the shrimp and
somewhat contains the shrimp flavor in the peel. In addition to
that, the shells will give off that ever-so-good liquid we know as
shrimp stock! Now, if you're feeding children you can peel half of
them (for the kids) and leave the rest "as is" for
To eat the "shells on" shrimp
just pop the whole thing in your mouth, suck the juices out, take it
out your mouth (duh), peel it, sop up a little gravy with it and eat
the shrimp. My mouth is watering just typing this!!! If you choose
to peel all the shrimp take the shells and make a little shrimp
Shrimp Stock: Rinse peelings, put
in a pot and just cover them with water. Bring to a boil, add a
pinch of salt and boil for about 5 minutes. Let cool and
strain the stock and you're done. Substitute the water called for in
the recipe with an equal amount of shrimp stock. Freeze the
remaining stock (by all means don't throw it away!)
Prepare the dish as follows:
In a large pan or pot, make a blond roux
with the flour and oil. Add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and celery and sauté
for another 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and bay leaves
and continue to cook for 30 - 40 minutes on a med-low fire stirring
Add the water (or stock) and sugar; bring to a boil stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to med-low. Add green onions and
parsley and stir. Simmer for 20 minutes covered stirring every five minutes.
Hint: look at the thickness, will it cover
rice like a thin gravy? If not add more flour. Add the
seasoning and shrimp and simmer for about 2 to 5 minutes
[larger shrimp = more time] stirring frequently. Taste and add
seasoning as needed.
Many old Creole cooks will cook this mid morning or mid afternoon
and let it sit on the stove an hour or more. This allows the flavors
to "marry" [marry-naide].
Remove bay leaves and serve over hot cooked rice with a little hot
French bread to sop
up the gravy. A fried
soft-shell crab on the side wouldn't be bad either!