Sunday, February 12, 2012
Crevettes a la Creole
Shrimp creole is a Louisiana favorite! Shrimp creole can be found on nearly every menu in New Orleans. This is a great recipe for Mardi Gras!
I worked with a few good Cajun and New Orleans chefs early in my cooking career. I learned a lot about Louisiana cuisine, while working with those chefs. Louisiana chef Justin Wilson had a great cooking show about twenty years ago. I watched Justin's cooking show one day and I really liked the way that Justin Wilson made creole sauce. Justin Wilson prepared the creole sauce like it was made fresh to order. He used all fresh ingredients and he emphasized that a creole sauce should be a very zesty fresh tasting sauce.
Creole sauce can be made ahead of time, but it is best if it is reheated to order and not kept warm in a pot or steam table. Many second rate restaurants offer creole sauce that has been kept hot in a steam table all day. Creole sauce that has been kept warm for a long period of time will become flat, acidic and not fresh tasting.
Fresh ingredients are the key to making a great creole sauce. If you live in Mississippi delta country, then Creole Tomatoes are the choice tomato for shrimp creole. Outside of delta country, red ripe Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes are good to make creole sauce with.
The amount of cayenne pepper that is added to a creole sauce is a personal choice. Creole sauce should be spicy, but it should not be spicy enough to remove the chrome from a bumper!
Creole Sauce Recipe:
You can make creole sauce with chicken stock or shrimp stock, depending on what the sauce will be served with. For shrimp creole, shrimp stock is used. This recipe make enough for 2 medium size portions or 1 large portion.
Heat a large sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil or blended olive oil.
Add 4 pats of unsalted butter.
Add 1/2 cup of small diced onion.
Add 1/4 cup of small diced celery.
Add 1/4 cup of mixed red and green bell pepper.
Add 1 finely chopped seeded green serrano pepper.
Add 3 minced garlic cloves.
Saute the vegetables, till they start to become tender.
Add 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 chopped fresh ripe Roma tomatoes.
Saute till the tomatoes start to become soft.
Add 1 bay leaf.
Add 2 pinches of thyme.
Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
Add 2 minced large fresh basil leaves.
Add 1 tiny pinch of ground celery seed.
Add 3/4 tablespoon of paprika.
Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper. (Make the sauce as spicy as your personal taste will allow!)
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Stir the sauce.
Add 1 cup of dry white wine.
Add 2 cups of shrimp stock.
Raise the temperature to medium high heat.
Bring the sauce to a boil.
Reduce the temperature to medium/medium low heat.
Simmer and reduce the sauce for 5 minutes.
Add 2 thin sliced green onions.
Add 4 pinches of minced Italian parsley.
Add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon.
Continue to simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a medium tomato sauce consistency. Stir the sauce occasionally. The sauce should not look watery.
Set the creole sauce aside.
Crevettes a la Creole Recipe:
Cook a portion of plain white long grain rice ahead of time.
Peel and devein 1/2 pound of medium size shrimp.
Remove the tails from the shrimp.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.
Add 3 pats of unsalted butter.
Add the peeled shrimp.
Saute till the shrimp become a little bit more than halfway cooked.
Add enough creole sauce to smother the shrimp.
Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
Remove the bay leaf from the sauce.
Form a ring of the plain white rice on a plate.
Spoon and mound the shrimp creole in the center of the rice ring.
Garnish with an Italian parsley sprig.
Hooooo Dawgy! This is shrimp creole the way that shrimp creole is supposed to be! The flavors are fresh and delicious. The complex seasoning mixture has a true Louisiana flavor. The trinity of onion, peppers and celery is what gives creole sauce its signature flavor. The shrimp are tender and plump, because they are cooked to order with the sauce! The crevettes a la creole in the pictures had enough cayenne pepper to give a nice comfortable after burn! Yum! ... Shawna