This Louisiana-inspired dish is a favorite for many and works well for both casual family meals and when entertaining guests. I’ve removed the flour that is oftentimes used as a thickener, allowing the sauce to cook down on its own instead which deepens the flavor. Make it as spicy or mild as your tastebuds desire by adjusting the cayenne pepper and adding or eliminating the Tabasco sauce.
Don’t be discouraged by the long ingredient list. Many are the seasonings that build that wonderful Creole flavor. The dish comes together rather quickly, so I suggest having all of the ingredients prepped and measured ahead of starting the cooking process (“mise en place”).
The sauce can be prepared ahead making this dish a great make-ahead option. Prepare through step 5, then cool and refrigerate the sauce for up to two days. When ready to serve, gently heat the sauce and follow steps 6 – 8 for adding the shrimp. The shrimp cook quickly and dinner can be on the table in no time.
Cooking Tip: Give your dried herbs and spices the “sniff test” before using. Cooking with dried herbs and spices that are fresh and fragrant makes all the difference in the flavor of the sauce.
Makes: 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1 medium sweet onion, small diced
1 small green bell pepper (or ½ of a large pepper), small diced
1 large stalk of celery, small diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (low sodium)
1/2 cup (4 oz) tomato sauce (low sodium)
1 1/2 cups vegetable, chicken, or seafood broth or stock (low sodium)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (low sodium) or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 – 1 1/2 pounds raw jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail removed
Tabasco sauce, optional to taste
Chopped fresh parsley and/or green onions, for garnish
Cooked brown rice, for serving (suggest Carolina Gold or Brown Basmati)
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or sauté pan. Add the onion, pepper, and celery. Sauté for approximately 8 -12 minutes until the vegetables are very soft and lightly brown.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more, until fragrant but not brown.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth or stock and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the paprika, basil, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Stir gently to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cook uncovered for approximately 10 – 15 minutes, until sauce is thick and chunky.
- Stir in the shrimp and cook 2 – 3 minutes, until just firm, pink on the outside, translucent on the inside. Careful not to overcook or the shrimp will become rubbery.
- Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper, and a few sprinkles of tabasco, if needed and desired. Remove the bay leaf.
- Either serve in the pan or transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle the parsley and/or green onions and finish with a squeeze of lemon over the top of the dish. Serve immediately with hot, cooked rice.
Photo: Love + Craft Kitchen, LLC
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