Louisiana Shrimp Creole - tomatoes and the trinity of bell pepper, onion, and celery combine to make a sauce for this southern classic.
Here's another tried and true favorite! This recipe for Louisiana Shrimp Creole has, of course, been tweaked and revised by me, but it was originally inspired by a recipe from the masterful Craig Claiborne in his wonderful cookbook, Craig Claiborne's "Southern Cooking."
Craig Claiborne was a food writer for the New York Times, but he was born and raised in Mississippi. He had a lifetime appreciation for southern cuisine which was influenced by his childhood and youth spent in the kitchen of his mother's boardinghouse.
Over the years he wrote several cookbooks, but my favorite was his Southern Cooking. He included many of his mother's original recipes in that cookbook, and they are all so familiar to me from my own childhood.
Throughout the book, he writes about his memories of classic southern food such as fried catfish, fried chicken, field peas, greens (collards, turnips, and mustard), cornbread, and a huge variety of desserts. Any time I need inspiration for something to cook, I know I can find it in Southern Cooking.
This recipe has been lightened up somewhat, but you could possibly lighten it even more by cutting a bit more of the butter. I don't believe it would really affect the finished dish very much.
How to Make Shrimp Creole
Rinse the shrimp and set aside in a colander to drain. You want them to be fairly dry when you add them at the end.
Prepare the vegetables. In New Orleans, actually in all Creole cooking, the combination of onion, celery, and green bell pepper is known as the "trinity." It is the cornerstone of hundreds of creole dishes and produces a flavor combination that is unique and readily identifiable as being creole. In this Shrimp Creole, we are also using a good bit of garlic.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook, stirring until the onion is wilted. Be careful not to let the onion brown.
Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring, or until vegetables are softened.
Add the tomatoes.
Next, add the thyme, bay leaf, Tabasco, lemon rind, salt, and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes uncovered.
Add the shrimp.
Stir well and cover. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, no longer. Really. NO LONGER than 5 minutes. I think the biggest mistake people make with shrimp is overcooking them. If you've ever gotten a rubbery, tough shrimp it's because it was overcooked. It really wasn't the poor shrimp's fault. It was tender and plump when it went in the pot.
Add the chopped parsley, lemon juice, and, if desired, more Tabasco sauce to taste. Serve over steamed white rice.
You May Also Like ...
- Oven Fried Shrimp Po'Boy
- Winter Shrimp Salad
- Gazpacho and Garlic Shrimp with Cheese Toasts
- Baked Catfish
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp
- Shrimp and Grits
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Easy Louisiana Shrimp Creole
- 1 pound fresh shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped onion
- 3 small celery ribs coarsely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 cups canned tomatoes with their liquid
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 12 dashes Tabasco or to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Rinse the shrimp and set them aside in a colander to drain.
- Chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Mince the garlic.
- Place a large saucepan, Dutch oven, or deep skillet on medium heat. Add the butter.
- When the butter has melted, add the onion. Cook, stirring until the onion is slightly softened. Be careful not to let the onion brown.
- Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, or until vegetables are softened.
- Add the tomatoes with their liquid. Next, add the thyme, bay leaf, Tabasco, lemon rind, salt, and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes uncovered until the liquid has reduced by about half.
- Stir the well-drained shrimp into the Creole sauce. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, no longer.
- When the shrimp are done, turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley, lemon juice, and, if desired, more Tabasco (or other hot sauce) to taste.
- Serve over hot, steamed rice.
- Adjust the spice level to your liking by adding more or less hot sauce to the recipe. Some cooks prefer to use cayenne pepper instead of Tabasco. I'd suggest starting with a quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper and adjusting up or down from there.
- For a different flavor, add some cooked bacon or andouille sausage to the sauce.
- You can even substitute catfish for the shrimp and make Catfish Creole.
- You can substitute brown rice or pasta for the steamed white rice.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.