Every so often, I get a hankerin’ for Shrimp Creole. If you’ve never had it, well, it is one of those New Orleans comfort foods, ranked along side Jambalaya and Gumbo but far less time consuming as it does not require making a roux or browning meat.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks with leaves, very thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 cup canned petite diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- pinch of black pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper (two pinches if you like a kick)
- pinch of white pepper
- 3 dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce (or to taste)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I buy them peeled & deveined & leave tails on)
- White Rice for serving**
- Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, and Italian seasoning and cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, tomato juice, tomatoes, Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon salt, black, cayenne and white pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- In a small bowl, blend the cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water until smooth. Gradually add half the cornstarch mixture to the sauce, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. If a thicker consistency is desired, add more.
- In the last moment, when the rice is cooked and you are ready to eat, dump your rinsed, cleaned shrimp into the finished sauce for a few minutes until cooked through and opaque. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over rice.
*Note: You can make the sauce ahead, but don’t add the shrimp until just before you are ready to eat.
**Tip: Always add salt to your rice. Just like pasta. If you serve unseasoned rice, your perfectly seasoned creole sauce will taste bland.
Recipe adapted from Ella Brennan