Every so often, I get a hankering for Shrimp Creole. It’s a meal my mom always made when I was a kid. Of course, then I had no appreciation for it because I didn’t like tomatoes. I’ve since grown older and wiser, and now I have to make Shrimp Creole for myself to make up for lost time.
If you’ve never had it, well, it is one of those New Orleans comfort foods, right along side Jambalaya, Gumbo and Etouffee, 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 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 lb medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 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.
*Always add salt to your rice. Just like pasta. If you serve unseasoned rice, your perfectly seasoned creole sauce will taste bland. Rice is also great if you make it with chicken stock instead of water.
**You can make the sauce ahead, but don’t add the shrimp until just before you are ready to eat.
Recipe adapted from Ella Brennan