Shrimp Creole

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Shrimp creole is a classic New Orleans dish, particularly popular during Lent.  We made this batch for Ash Wednesday dinner for 2 people, based on a recipe in Cooking up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.  This is a good weekday dish since it is done in less than an hour.

2 Tbs. butter

1 Tbs. flour

¾ cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped green bell pepper

3/8 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

9 oz. shell-on shrimp

1 tsp. fresh parsley

Peel and devein the shrimp.  Put the shells in a small saucepan with about 1.5 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Strain the shrimp broth and reserve it for later in the recipe.

In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour and make a blond roux, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp stock, bay leaf, diced tomatoes, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes until it reduces into a sauce.  Stir occasionally.  Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes, until they have turned pink.  Stir in the parsley and serve over steamed rice. Although not traditional, I liked serving it with capers.


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