Shrimp Creole is a spicy-delicious thick stew made from a slow-cooked tomatoey sauce flavored with seasonings, fresh herbs, and the Cajun trinity.
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This simple classic southern Louisiana dish is not one that I recall eating from my Mama’s kitchen. She mostly cooked our shrimp in an etouffee or a stew made with a basic roux. No tomatoes.
Like most dishes in the Cajun culture, tomatoes are not usually included. The idea is this vegetable wasn’t readily available to the country people, or Cajuns, of southern Louisiana. However, Creole which is considered to be more of a city cuisine like that of New Orleans uses tomatoes in many of their dishes.
Some Shrimp Creole recipes call for a roux, but not here. Our recipe today is similar to one I found in a favorite cookbook of mine. Let me introduce you to it. It’s The Southern Living Cookbook, published in 1987 by Oxmoor House, Inc. This is my go-to cooking manual.
As you can see I possess more than one copy. It contains basic southern recipes and cooking instructions. I’m still learning from its pages. Although it can be difficult to get your hands on, I have found a few copies at used book websites.
In my recipe, I use fresh tomatoes and herbs. The stew thickens and the taste gets richer as it simmers together for at least an hour before adding the shrimp.
A classic southern Shrimp Creole that is spicy-delicious! It gets its thick sauce by slowly cooking together tomatoes, fresh herbs, and the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery before fresh shrimp is added. Serve it over a bed of rice with a garnish of lemon slices for a squeeze of fresh flavor to this Creole stew.
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cups onion, chopped
3/4 cups bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped (about 3)
1–8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1–1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Melt butter in a heavy pot.
Saute the onions, peppers, celery, garlic, and tomatoes in the butter for 10 minutes.
Stir in tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and herbs and simmer for 1 hour or more on low heat with pot covered.
Add shrimp and cook for 10 minutes on low heat or just until shrimp are cooked, stirring frequently.
Stir in parsley.
Serve on a bed of rice with lemon wedges to be squeezed onto stew when ready to eat.
It’s so easy and oh-so-good! Now, buying shrimp that is already peeled from the freezer section of the grocery store can save even more time when preparing this Shrimp Creole. I like to keep shrimp in the freezer fresh from the gulf, bagged in water, without their heads and tails. Peeling used to be a chore for me, but I’ve found something to help make the job easier. My big sister told me I needed this little gadget. I tried it and she was right … again, but don’t tell her I said that.
This nifty shrimp peeler is quick and easy to use in removing the shell and vein from the shrimp. Using the tines of a fork also makes a good shrimp-peeling tool.
So that’s the story on Shrimp Creole. I hope you make this recipe soon and let me know how it turns out. I always enjoy hearing from you.
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