Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

In an effort to make my blog a little different and a little more interesting to write, I’m experimenting with some changes to the format.

Inspiration: I haven’t done much experimenting yet, but judging from the few creole dishes that I’ve tried, creole cuisine is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  The stew-like dishes that are traditionally prepared each have a fantastic heat to them, and every dish that I’ve tried so far has had layers of spices and flavor. There’s something incredibly comforting about a spicy pot of shrimp creole or jambalaya simmering on the stove, and the flavors never disappoint. Over the last few months, I’ve found a new love in spicy and comforting creole food, and I always look forward to trying a new recipe.

What we Loved: The sauce in this dish is really rich in tomato flavor, with just an edge of smokiness from the addition of worcestershire sauce. The spice level that comes from the cayenne pepper and hot sauce is perfect, having quite a kick but not leaving you reaching for your water glass after every bite. I love that this dish is served over a bed of white rice, instead of mixing the rice into the pot, because you can mix the rice into your own dish as much or as little as you’d like while you’re eating.

Helpful Hints: The original recipe calls for seafood stock, but I had some extra chicken stock in the pantry and used that instead. This is a good idea if you want the final dish to have a less “fishy” flavor, although you’re sacrificing some authenticity. What I find most important about this dish is to add the shrimp to the pot just a minute or two before serving. As soon as the shrimp turn pink, it’s safe to turn off the heat and serve. Shrimp only take a few minutes to cook, and overcooked shrimp will have a very tough texture. It’s best to stop cooking even before you think they’re quite done. There’s nothing like fresh, tender shrimp!

Shrimp Creole
Source: Food Network

I changed the amounts of several ingredients and omitted a few ingredients. Here is the recipe as I made it.

Extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
Dash worcestershire sauce
Dash hot sauce
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb large shrimp, shelled, deveined, and tails removed

1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil, and saute the onions for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the cayenne, and let carmelize.

2. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes,Worcestershire, hot sauce, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, and crush the tomatoes with the back of a spoon as much as you can. After cooking, the tomatoes will become more tender, and you can crush them further then.

3. Simmer for 35 minutes, or until the sauce is as thickened as you would like. You can crush the tomatoes more at this point.

4. Add the shrimp to the pot, and cook until just pink and opaque. Serve immediately.

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