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Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

This shrimp creole is dee-licious!  It’s from Nola Cuisine, and I followed the recipe (almost) exactly.   I think it’s a real winner and pass it on with confidence.  Made with fresh tomatoes, homemade shrimp stock (don’t let that scare you, it’s very simple) and good shrimp, it’s a crowd-pleaser that will impress your family and friends.

Another plus?  Yes, it’s healthy.

How Healthy is Shrimp Creole?

  • Celery, peppers, onions and garlic provide antioxidants, including beta-carotine, luteolin,  saponin and quercetin.
  • Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene and cooked is as beneficial as raw (or even better for you!)
  • Shrimp, although high in cholesterol, are also high in astaxanthin and selenium (antioxidants).  I recommend using less shrimp (I reduced the amount here) and buying a higher quality wild-caught shrimp.  They are tastier, healthier and easier on the environment.  Do use the shells for a homemade shrimp stock which adds lots of flavor.

Ingredients for Nola’s Simply Delicious Shrimp Creole

  • 1-1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp (set shells aside)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 medium red, yellow, orange or green pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-1/2 cups seeded roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups shrimp stock (see below)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, or 2-3 teaspoons dried
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco (or to taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup scallions, green and white parts, 1/2″ thickness
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Shrimp Stock Ingredients and Method

  • Reserved shells
  • Celery, onions and carrots (use odd leftover pieces – it will be strained so it can be rough chopped, not-so-pretty!)
  • lemon slices (end pieces, etc.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

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Place the shrimp shells and additional ingredients in a medium sized stock pot, cover with cold water, place on stove top over medium high heat and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes.  Strain and use.  It you get more than 2 cups, you can simmer the strained stock until it reduces or freeze the remainder for later use.

Method for Shrimp Creole

  • Assemble all ingredients, chop vegetables and make shrimp stock.

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  • Heat a heavy bottomed, large sauce pan to medium high heat (hot, not smoking).  Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onions, peppers and celery.  Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly around the edges.

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  • Stir in the tomato paste and then the diced tomatoes, garlic and salt.  Stir and cook until the tomatoes start to release liquids.  Add the wine and simmer 5-10 minutes, uncovered, until wine cooks off.

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  • Add shrimp stock, thyme, pepper, tabasco and Worcestershire sauce.  Return to simmer, reduce to low and continue to cook 30-45 minutes.

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  • Check for seasoning and add more to taste (this is important – get it the way you like it!)  Add parsley and about 1/2 of the scallions.
  •   For the shrimp:  I usually dry the shrimp well, then sear them lightly in a hot skillet with a little olive oil and crushed garlic.  Set them aside (you can refrigerate them at this point if you are not serving the creole immediately.  Just before serving, add shrimp to simmering creole sauce and cook for a couple of minutes until shrimp are fully cooked.

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  • Serve over hot rice and garnish with additional sliced scallions and chopped parsley.
  • Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler.

Notes:

  • Sauce can be made in advance – it refrigerates well (and freezes well too!)  Just make sure to add the shrimp at the end so they don’t cook too long and lose texture and flavor.
  • Don’t eat shrimp?  If you want a vegetarian version, just substitute vegetable stock for the shrimp – it’s  really nice over rice with roasted vegetables on the side.
  • You see in my picture that I served it with white basmati rice.  I know, brown rice is a healthier version, but for some reason I just like my creole with white rice so I cheated!

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