Shrimp a la Creole

Creole Monday
It has taken me a long time to post this recipe mainly since every cookbook ever published includes a recipe for Shrimp Creole. Many restaurants have attempted to serve it, a few worthy of it being on their menu but in many restaurants, if you have eaten this and said, ‘it was just okay’, then you have not had a good dish of Shrimp Creole. This dish when cooked right will make you sing praises to the cook, to the shrimp and of the many New Orleans Creole cooks long past. It is a dish which when prepared correctly incorporates whole lotta goodness into a complex yet satisfying meal. It takes a little time so do not rush it and yes, there are certainly simpler recipes but why would you want anything other than the best. Everything has to meld together for the taste to be so glorious that at the first and last bite, you say, ‘man, so this is what it is suppose to taste like’.

Shrimp a la Creole

3 pounds medium shrimp – peeled, deveined with shells reserved
Add shrimp shells (heads too if you have them) to a stockpot and the following:

1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 strips celery, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups water

Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. Strain stock into a saucepan and reduce to about 2 cups.

In a large skillet, melt the grease over medium heat and add the next 7 ingredients.

1/3 cup bacon grease (or a mixture of butter and olive oil)
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 medium red onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 anaheim or poblano chile, minced
3 ribs celery, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Sauté the vegetables until they are soft and the edges begin to caramelize.

Add the following:

2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
The reserved 2 cups shrimp stock
3 cups crushed tomatoes (if using fresh tomatoes, run them through a food mill)
1 -6 ounce tomato paste
1 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon Alaga cane syrup or dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Cover and simmer on medium low heat for 1 hour. Check seasonings midway and add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the shrimp, stir well, cover and turn off heat. Let set for 15 to 20 minutes until shrimp are pink throughout.

Serve over a bed of white rice with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and chopped green onions if desired.

9 thoughts on “Shrimp a la Creole

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