Shrimp creole hails from southern Louisiana and has a Spanish and French heritage. Most shrimp creole recipes don’t include okra but mine does. It’s a wonderful way to use fresh okra while it’s abundant in the summer. Plus, I just love the combination of okra and tomatoes. Yum! But if you’re not a fan of okra, just leave it out. No worries.
You can substitute chicken stock for the shrimp stock, but why not take advantage of the shrimp shells and make your own, where you control the salt and make it tastier than what you’d find in a box or can. It’s as easy as throwing some veggies and the shells in a pot and letting them simmer for about 20 minutes. This delicious stock will add extra depth to the creole. The recipe is at the end of this post.
Serve this tasty and spicy shrimp creole over rice or creamy grits, unless you’re watching your carbs and then it’s great on it’s own. And if you’re not watching carbs, add some crusty bread and a glass of crisp white wine and you are good to go!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 andouille sausage links, casings removed, chopped small
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup sweet onion, chopped small
- 1 cup celery, chopped small
- 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped small
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups shrimp stock (see below for recipe)
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, including juices
- 1 ½ cups sliced okra (use frozen if fresh is not available)
- Worcestershire sauce, several dashes (I like Lea & Perrins)
- Hot sauce to taste
- Juice of ½ fresh lemon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning (I like Ragn’ Cajun)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined (save the shells for the shrimp stock)
- Green onions or fresh chives, for garnish
In a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil on medium. Sauté the garlic, onions, celery, and green pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned.
Add the cayenne, shrimp, tomatoes, okra, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lemon juice, sugar, bay leaf and Cajun seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 35 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon as they cook.
Add shrimp and cook about 4 more minutes, until they are bright pink and cooked through. Do not overcook the shrimp!
Serve over rice or grits and garnish with green onions or chives.
Shrimp Stock Recipe
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add shrimp shells; 1 stalk of celery, cut into about 4-5 pieces; ¼ onion; a few baby carrots; 1 crushed garlic clove; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; and salt and ground pepper to taste. Sauté for several minutes. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Strain the stock and discard the shells, veggies, etc. Any leftover stock can be frozen and used within 3 months.
Eat, drink and be merry!