I have been working on an easy version of shrimp creole for a while now. I love the tomato base with a tiny bit of heat and shrimp drowning it all, on top of some beautifully steamed white rice.
My first recipe was a little bland and a bit complex, so I ramped up the heat and made it simpler. The result is something that I am quite proud of. If you want to tame the heat, omit the Serrano peppers. If you want more heat, I would suggest more hot sauce or adding a few more peppers. The hot sauce also adds vinegar which enhances the heat and herbs. If you are looking for no heat, leave out the peppers and the hot sauce, but substitute in some white vinegar. Also, another option for adding more heat would be to add in some cayenne pepper, but do it gingerly.
I let my sauce steep for twenty minutes, you can increase that time if you wish and it will develop the flavors even further. Just do not add the shrimp until after the sauce is completely finished cooking.
Spicy Shrimp Creole
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 large white onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tablespoons hot sauce (I like Frank’s)
6 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
In 14 inch, high wall skillet or small non-reactive stock pot, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is heated thoroughly, add bell pepper, garlic, onion, and serrano peppers. Sauté until nearly translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add spices and herbs and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is fragrantly aromatic.
Add tomato and hot sauce and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper as needed for taste. If desired, add more hot sauce.
Stir in shrimp to incorporate fully and replace cover. Cook for 3-7 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Serve immediately over white rice and garnish with sliced green onion.
I have also done a version over potatoes and asparagus instead of rice and, believe it or not, it was also delicious.