Why I Love This Recipe
This is some real shrimp creole made the way my cajun grandma made it when shrimp were cheaper than ground beef.
Ingredients You'll Need
3 pounds of cleaned, deveined 36/40 shrimp;
1 lb cleaned, deveined 70/90 shrimp;
2 cups diced bell pepper;
1 cup chopped celery;
3 tbs of oil;
3 cups chopped onion;
3 tbs butter;
4 tbs tomato paste;
2 tbs chopped garlic;
2 tsp paprika;
2 tsp thyme leaves;
1 tsp black pepper;
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper;
2 tsp salt;
2 bay leaves;
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with liquid;
4 cups low sodium chicken broth;
2 tbs dried parsley;
2 tsp sugar;
2 tbs butter;
1 1/2 tbs all purpose flour;
1/2 tbs salt;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1 tbs thyme leaves;
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
Saute 2 cups diced bell pepper and 1 cup chopped celery in 3 tbs of oil in a 6 quart heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until they just get tender.
About 8-10 minutes.
Add 3 cups chopped onion and 3 tbs butter and saute for another 5 minutes until the onions get tender but not brown.
Scrape the vegetables from the center of the pan, add 1 more tbs butter to the pan in the empty spot and put in 4 tbs tomato paste.
Fry the tomato paste until it darkens.
After the tomato paste darkens, add 2 tbs chopped garlic and then mix the tomato paste, garlic and the vegetables together and saute for another minute until you can smell the garlic.
Stir in 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp thyme leaves, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp salt, 2 bay leaves and saute for another minute.
Add 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with liquid, 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 2 tbs dried parsley, 2 tsp sugar and 1 lb cleaned, deveined 70/90 shrimp.
Stir thoroughly and simmer for 1 hr.
Melt 2 tbs butter over medium heat in a nonstick pan.
After the butter melts and starts to bubble, add 1 1/2 tbs all purpose flour and stir continuously until flour browns to a beige french vanilla colored roux.
Immediately mix the roux into the simmering tomatoes, shrimp and vegetables along with 1/2 tbs salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1 tbs thyme leaves.
Simmer for another five minutes.
Add 3 pounds of cleaned, deveined 36/40 shrimp. I cook mine for another 45 minutes to an hour because I like my shrimp cooked until they are smothered tender, the way my grandma cooked shrimp creole.
It's the difference between seared meat and braised meat.
The meat stays tender but in different ways.
You can just simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the shrimp are just pink if you want. After the simmering period you select is over, add 3 cups of chopped green onions and turn off the burner.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes then add 2 tbs fresh lemon juice and stir well.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
These television chefs like to just barely cook the shrimp.
When you barely cook the shrimp it looks like there is more shrimp in the creole and they can get away with putting in fewer shrimp.
This is good for the bottom line if you're cooking in a restaurant.
It's not as good for the creole.
When I was a kid shrimp was a lot cheaper than ground beef so it wasn't a problem to put in a lot of shrimp and have them shrink up.
As a compromise, in this recipe the first pound of shrimp is put in early to flavor the gravy so it tastes like my grandma's.
Serve the creole over steamed rice with some garlic bread.
Freezes very well.