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Shrimp Creole

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Shrimp Creole is a classic Louisiana dish known for its bold flavors, combining succulent shrimp with a rich tomato-based sauce and aromatic seasonings. This recipe brings together the essence of Creole cuisine, offering a delicious and comforting meal that can be enjoyed any time of year. Here’s how to make Shrimp Creole at home, capturing the essence of Southern cooking.


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco), or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Shrimp:

  1. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Sauté the Aromatics:

  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onion, green bell pepper, and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, until softened.

3. Make the Creole Sauce:

  1. Add minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Stir in diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato sauce, chicken broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, dried thyme, dried oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, freshly ground black pepper, and bay leaves.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld together.

4. Add the Shrimp:

  1. Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet, stirring gently to coat with the sauce.
  2. Cook the shrimp for 5-7 minutes, or until they turn pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

5. Serve:

  1. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in chopped fresh parsley.
  2. Serve Shrimp Creole hot over cooked white rice, garnished with additional parsley if desired.

6. Optional Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with crusty French bread or cornbread to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • Sprinkle with chopped green onions or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for added freshness.
  • Pair with a chilled glass of white wine or a classic New Orleans cocktail like a Sazerac or Hurricane.

Conclusion: Shrimp Creole is a delightful dish that brings together tender shrimp with a robust tomato-based sauce and aromatic spices. This recipe allows you to recreate the flavors of New Orleans cuisine in your own kitchen, offering a taste of Southern comfort and hospitality. Enjoy Shrimp Creole as a comforting weeknight meal or serve it to guests for a taste of Louisiana’s culinary heritage.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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