Friday, January 16, 2009

Shrimp Creole

Today Judy at posted a giveaway to win some Slap Your Mama Seasonings and apron. I have been wanting to try that seasoning, because it is cajun. My choice here is the Kroger brand of Creole seasoning that I use and another brand that I don't like. So I am always on the lookout for new seasonings. The giveaway is something that she is making us work for, but for me it was not work. To qualify you needed to make a cajun food, take a picture of it and post the picture and the recipe on your blog. Then link the page back to Judy's blog.

Now Judy has timing as I had already planned to make Shrimp Creole for dinner tonight. I will post some pictures with explinations then the recipe at the end.
The first thing I do is to gather the ingredients and chopped the vegetables. I use more vegetables then shown, but some are canned. I also used to clean the shrimp saving the shells to make a quick shrimp broth, but I fried shrimp one day and made broth and froze it.
The next thing I do is make the roux. It was not in the original recipe, but I think it adds lots of flavor. Basically what I do is to mix the flour and oil in a heavy pan, stir and cook it until the flour/oil mixture is the color of peanut butter. Be sure you allow about 1/2 hour for this process. Cooking at a medium or lower temperature stirring constantly. Isn't the pan I am using nice. It is an Iron pot for doing stir fry, but I love it for many different things I cook. I bought it at an outdoor store.

The roux is almost ready. By the way I hardly ever measure anything, so sometimes I actually make more then other times. Today I made more so I can share it with some friends.

As soon as the roux is ready I add the vegetables, stir then quickly add the tomatoes/okra, tomato sauce, butter and the shrimp broth. Mine was still frozen. I cook and stir everything adding the herbs and spices.This mixture is allowed to simmer for about and hour. Notice the pan in the back? My husband came to help. He cleaned the shrimp and now the shells are cooking in water. When they turn pink I strain the broth into a container and freeze it for the next time we go cajun with shrimp.
I do not have a rice cooker, so I make my rice in the microwave. I have about an hour to rest before finishing dinner, so I put the rice together. Place the container in the microwave and set the timer to come on later.
Dinner is almost ready. About 10 minutes before dinner I add the shrimp. Notice the grey color. Stir the shrimp into the mixture until it is pink.

Notice the pink shrimp, it has curled and is ready to eat. Don't over cook the shrimp as it will be tough. Put everything into serving bowls. You can decorate with green onions and fresh parsley. Adjust seasoning as desired. I make a medium hot creole, because some people don't like things hot. You may also use fresh or frozen hot peppers instead of the dry cheynne pepper.

Shrimp Creole

2 pounds raw shrimp (I use the frozen medium size with the shell, but no heads) Wash and remove
from shells. Set cleaned shrimp in refrigerator.
Wash shells place in medium saucepan with a little celery and onions.
Cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes. Save the broth by
Pouring through a sieve over a bowl. Set aside for gumbo. Discard shells. You will need between 2 and 3 cups of liquid. You may us canned chicken broth if desired.

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
2 cloves garlic cleaned and chopped fine
½ cup oil
½ cup flour
1 can tomatoes with okra (15 ounce or so)
1 can 8oz tomato sauce
2 T butter
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or you can use finely chopped fresh hot pepper any amount
you desire
¼ teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
salt and pepper to taste Salt increases the heat cayenne pepper. Sugar will lower the heat.
1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped or ½ teaspoon dry parsley

Be sure everything is chopped and ready to use before you start to make the roux.

To make the roux pour the oil into a heavy sauce pan or skillet. I actually use and iron pan large enough to hold all the ingredients. A heavy dutch oven works well, but be careful to not burn yourself on the pan when stirring.

Heat the oil a bit then add the flour. Carefully stir in the flour. Heat the mixture using medium to medium high heat stirring constantly. The flour will start to brown and you will need to stir slowly or frequently to keep the flour from burning. When the roux turns to the color of peanut butter it is done.

Add the celery, onions,pepper and garlic to the roux. Stir a bit then add the tomatoes with okra, tomato sauce, butter, shrimp broth and the seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are cooked, stirring once in a while. If too thick add water or broth. If too thin cook a little longer.

While this is cooking make your rice following package directions. We use long grain rice and cook it in the microwave.

Just before serving add the shrimp and cook until it is pink. Stir often. Taste to check flavor.

I hope you try this recipe. We enjoy it fresh or as leftovers.