Spicy Shrimp Creole
Take your taste buds on a tour of New Orleans with this Spicy Shrimp Creole dish. This tomato-based, saucy dish has just the right amount of tang and heat, plus a punch of fresh seafood flavor from the shrimp.
Spicy Shrimp Creole is one of those recipes that is easy enough to serve to your family on a weeknight, but fancy enough for guests.
Serve a slice of homemade Cheddar Jalapeno Bread alongside to sop up some of the sauce.
HOW TO BUY SHRIMP
It’s so easy to buy low-quality shrimp. You know what I mean - the mushy, strong, or off-flavored shrimp that ruins the entire meal. Not to worry! Here are a few tried and true tricks to getting fresh shrimp every time.
- Frozen shrimp is actually fresher than ‘fresh’ shrimp. Why? Well, the fisherman ice down their fresh catch right on the boat. So that frozen shrimp was frozen pretty much right after it was caught. Fresh shrimp, on the other hand, has to be chilled and transported. Or the ‘fresh’ shrimp in the grocery fish counter has actually been frozen and thawed.
- Wild-caught shrimp has a cleaner, fresher flavor. If you purchase farm-raised, look for the package to say that it was sustainably raised.
- If buying fresh shrimp, smell it. If it smells like ammonia or very strong, this is a sign of age and it will taste ‘off’. It should have a fresh, briny aroma that is pleasant, not strong.
- Touch it. It should be firm, not mushy or slimy.
- Shrimp are sold by the number of shrimp are in a pound. The higher the number, the smaller the shrimp. Small shrimp are great for salads or fried rice. Extra-large or jumbo shrimp are the best for shrimp cocktails or to stuff. Medium to large shrimp work great in this recipe.
Don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients. Many of the spices and herbs are ones that you probably already have in your spice rack.
Instead of the additional paprika, oregano, etc., just add more of the Creole seasoning to taste.
Spicy Shrimp Creole
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 8 tablespoons flour
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juice
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire Sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
- 2 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp, thawed if frozen
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, more for garnish
- Chopped scallions, for garnish
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter and oil together.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour turns golden - about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the onions, bell pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring until the onions turn translucent and the vegetables are soft - about 8 - 10 minutes.
- Pour in the tomatoes and their juice, the tomato sauce, broth, garlic, bay leaves, Creole seasoning, thyme paprika, oregano, and Worchestershire Sauce.
- Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until thickened and sauce-like - about 20 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir and cook until the shrimp turn opaque and begin to curl - about 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp.
- Taste and adjust for salt and heat, adding more salt or cayenne pepper as needed.
- If the mixture is too thick, stir in a bit more broth until the desired consistency has been reached.
- Discard the bay leaves.
- Ladle the shrimp and sauce over the rice. Garnish with more parsley and sliced scallions.
- Serve with hot sauce.