Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shrimp Creole

Shortly after college graduation in December, 1990, I was staying at my paternal grandparents for Christmas. All my cousins and I were gathered there and were watching "Driving Miss Daisy" that night with my grandmother as she had been given a VCR and that video for Christmas.

After a filling Christmas lunch, we began to get hungry again so my grandmother pulled out some Shrimp Creole for us to thaw and eat. I hadn't eaten Shrimp Creole my entire time in college and it was warm, comforting and soothing. I asked my grandmother where she got the recipe. She said one of my aunt's made it and she pulled out an old, small, yellowed pamplet-type cookbook and showed it to me. Funny, it was produced by family members of my maternal great-grandmother! I was stunned!

My maternal great-grandmother was Bernadette Landry of the Landry family from Sorrento, Louisiana who settled there after migrating from Nova Scotia. Her cousins founded Don's Seafood, an old establisment in Donaldsonville and Baton Rouge back in the 1930's. Since then the business has expanded all over Louisiana and into Texas. This is their recipe taken from that same small recipe pamphlet Don's produced back in the 1960's. It's one of my favorite winter comfort foods, is so easy to make and very healthy!

2 lbs peeled shrimp
1 med onion chopped
½ bellpepper chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
4 green onions chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 lg can tomato sauce
1 lg can tomato paste
2 tbl parsley
½ cup oil
1 tsp sugar
3 cups water
salt, pepper, cayenne, Tony's to taste
Parboiled Rice

In a bowl, season shrimp with Tony's, salt, pepper and cayenne. Heat oil in large pot, cook vegetables (except garlic) until wilted. Add tomato paste and fry 5-10 min until it begins to brown or change color, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce and cook another 5 min. Add 2 cups of water. Cook about 40 min or until the oil comes to the top, stir constantly. Use more water if mixture gets too thick. Add shrimp garlic and sugar, stir well. Check seasonings. Cook 30 min or until shrimp are tender. Serve over cooked rice.

***See Tips and Information on Tony's and Parboiled Rice.
*** I double and sometimes triple this recipe so that I can freeze it for later use!

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