Monday, February 27, 2012
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Reasonably quick and easy to make, this dish is a wonderful choice for a meatless Monday or Lenten Friday meal. I make it several times a year and prepare it for guests when I want to limit the time I spend in the kitchen. The recipe, originally developed by Emeril LaGasse, can easily be doubled and, save for the last minute addition of shrimp, it can be prepared days ahead of serving. The roux that forms the base of the sauce in which the shrimp are cooked was originally made with bacon drippings. I've substituted a vegetable oil that I think you'll be more comfortable using. I've made few other changes to the recipe although I always use shrimp stock to prepare it. I find commercial fish stocks to be very strong, so I make my own by simmering the shells from the shrimp that will be used in the dish in lightly salted water. My recipe, and I use that term lightly, uses 3 cups of water to simmer the shells from 2 pounds of shrimp. I bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and let the shells simmer for 30 minutes or so before straining. That's all there is to it. I think it works wonderfully well. While there is some chopping to be done, this recipe is easy enough for beginning cooks to successfully complete. While the roux must be watched carefully to prevent burning, there are no other tricks associated with the recipe. I like this dish and I think it will please those of you who try it. Here's the recipe.
Shrimp Creole...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Emeril LaGasse
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups finely chopped, peeled, seeded tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
2 cups cold chicken, shrimp or fish stock
2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Hot cooked long-grain white rice, for serving
1/2 cup chopped tender green scallion tops
1) Heat oil in a medium, heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add flour and stirring constantly with a heavy wooden spoon, cook until a roux a light brown forms, about 6 minutes.
2) Add onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook over medium heat, until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
3) Add garlic, salt, red pepper, and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
4) Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to color, about 2 minutes.
5) Add tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, lemon zest, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
6) Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until sauce thickens and reduces by one-quarter in volume, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7) If you plan to serve immediately, add shrimp and cook, stirring, until cooked through and tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Mound 1/2 to 3/4 cup rice in each of 4 to 5 bowls. Spoon shrimp Creole over rice. Garnish with scallion tops and serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.
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