Cookin' ATVS Style: Shrimp Creole

Billy Gomila

That's right, we back again.

Been a while, but I told y'all I want to make this something more regular, and without football season for me to focus on, there's no time like the offseason. LSU's may have started a bit earlier than we'd like, but it's the holiday season, and hey, you gotta have something to eat while you enjoy conference championship weekend, right? This also happens to be a good cold-weather recipe.

Shrimp Creole is, actually, an old-school Cajun dish and one of those bedrock, classic Louisiana recipes that you can find all over the place. It's not quite as well-known as gumbo or ettoufe, but it's no less delicious, and best when you can find some fresh, creole tomatoes to dice up for it. It can be served over rice, or pasta if you'd like to switch things up a bit.

The recipe comes from John Folse's Hooks, Lies, & Alibies, which is the all-seafood version of his encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole cooking.

Ingredients

3 pounds shrimp, 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
2 tbsps minced garlic
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 quarts seafood stock (Note: I subbed in chicken stock because, frankly, I forgot to pick some up and I used what I had. You can get by with it without a huge difference)

1 cup thinly sliced green onions
Hot sauce, salt, pepper and any other seasonings to taste (I threw in a little dried oregano and thyme leaves -- this is where you can make the recipe your own.)

Obviously, you want fresh shrimp, and I highly, highly recommend seasoning them before hand with salt/pepper and/or some Cajun seasoning. You won't be cooking the shrimp very long, so you want them to have some flavor on their own.

Instructions

1. First, you make a roux out of the oil and flour over the appropriate heat level. Going for a lighter color to compliment the seafood.

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2. Once the roux hits a light brown color, add the onions, celery and bell pepper and sauté over medium heat until wilted.

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3. Add the garlic, bay leaves and stir in the tomato sauce and tomatoes.

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4. Once you have a good consistency, add the seafood stock slowly, while stirring to maintain a good, saucy consistency. Allow to cook for at least 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent from sticking and seasoning to taste. If the sauce starts to thicken, you can add some extra liquid to maintain the proper thickness.

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5. Stir in your shrimp and cook about 5 minutes, until pink and curled.

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6. Stir in your green onions and serve over the starch of your choice. Serves 8-10.

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