Shrimp Creole | CUESA

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Shrimp Creole

Source:

John Besh author of, My New Orleans: The Cookbook (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009) and executive chef at Restaurant August

This dish was prepared for a special CUESA cooking demonstration on October 15, 2009.


Traditionally a roux-and-tomato-based dish, Shrimp Creole in my new version has Vietnamese influences; it’s spicy and sweet, full of herbs and flavor. Any ultra ripe tomatoes will work. The amounts given feed a typical Sunday supper at my house. For six to eight, halve the ingredients, but don’t worry too much: there’s a lot of forgiveness.
This recipe will work with most long-grain rices, including Popcorn Rice. Save some of the fat skimmed from your chicken stock to perfume the rice with many wonderful flavors.

Serves 12-15

INGREDIENTS

 5 pounds jumbo Louisiana or wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
½ cup olive oil
3 medium onions, diced
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bell pepper, red, green, or yellow, seeded and diced
5 pounds overripe Brandywine or other heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
Leaves from 2 branches fresh basil, chopped
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh mint, chopped
Sugar
6-8 cups cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice (see below)

Basic Louisiana white rice
1 tablespoon chicken fat, extra-virgin olive oil, or butter
1 small onion, minced
1 ½ cups Louisiana long-grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1-2 pinches salt

PREPARATION

For the creole

  1. Put the shrimp into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, then mix in the lemongrass. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large deep skillet over moderate heat. Add the shrimp, stirring and tossing them with a spatula. Sauté until they turn pink, about 2 minutes.

  2. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside while you make the sauce. Into the same skillet with the oil and shrimp juices, put the remaining ¼ cup oil and the onions, garlic, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and when the sauce comes to a simmer add the bay leaf, allspice, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp back to the skillet along with the basil and mint. Cook for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce tastes too tart, add a little sugar to balance the flavor. Remove the bay leaf. Serve over steamed Louisiana white rice.

For the rice

  1. Put the fat, oil, or butter and the onions into a medium saucepan and sweat the onions over moderate heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the rice into the pan and stir for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and salt.

  2. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.

 

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »