I have been craving New Orleans creole food since I got home last week. I decided to treat myself and my parents last night to an authentic creole meal of shrimp creole and red beans and rice. My whole family was in heaven while eating this flavorful and delicious meal.
If you are going to cook New Orleans style food you need to definitely either prep ahead of time or set aside a few hours of cooking time. The beauty of this style of food is that it is made with simple ingredients, but takes love and time.
One of the most important aspects of cooking this dish is not burning the roux. If you constantly stir it and make sure that it does not start to stick to the bottom then you will be ok. You should also stir the roux for a good amount of time, until it starts to become a dark peanut butter color. The dark color of the roux adds such rich flavor and thickness to the overall dish.
I really hope that you give this dish a try. You do not necessarily need to use shrimp either. You can certainly add a different shellfish, such as crab, or use chicken. This meal is truly amazing and will certainly impress any friends or family that you serve it to. I can't rave about it enough!
(original recipe from: The New Orleans School of Cooking)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 pounds uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup green pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 thin lemon slices
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
- Melt the butter in a large pot and add in the shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes, until mostly pink and remove from the pan, set aside.
- If the pan looks too dry, add another 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk continuously for another 6-8 minutes, or until the roux is a peanut butter color. (Make sure to not let any of the roux stick to the bottom of the pan because it could burn).
- Stir in the celery, green pepper, onion and garlic. Continue to saute until the vegetables become tender.
- Add in the chicken stock, tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon slices, bay leaf and seasoning. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened.
- Remove the bay leaf and lemon slices. Add in the shrimp, parsley and green onions and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve over white rice and enjoy!