You know what makes me happy? Slicing, stirring, tasting- making a delicious meal for my family. And of course, eating said delicious meal is quite enjoyable as well.
We capped off a wonderful beach trip with an early Mother's Day dinner of Shrimp Creole.
This Shrimp Creole is adapted from the indomitable Nathalie Dupree. It is an essential dish to add to your repertoire- easy to prepare ahead of time, fit for company, and incredibly delicious. It was a lovely meal with my parents, husband and child (Mama- we forgot to get any pictures of the two of us!).
1.5 lb. fresh raw shrimp
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used basil and thyme)
1 bay leaf, crumbled
hot sauce to taste
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon flour
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon
Peel the shrimp and set aside
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Stir in the onions and cook until soft. Add the celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook about 3 minutes stirring occasionally (the vegetables should stay crisp). Add the tomatoes, herbs, bay leaf, hot sauce, lemon rind, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook 20 minutes, or until thick. Add the shrimp, cover, and cook three minutes.
Blend the remaining butter with the flour, and add bit by bit to the simmering pot. Cook about 1 minute Add the parsley and lemon juice. Heat and serve over rice.
I like to serve it with the perfect rice- this recipe comes from Virginia Willis' excellent cookbook, "Bon Appetit, Y'all". This rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan, or to itself. I am generally not a rice fan, because, well, it doesn't taste like anything. This rice tastes like something good. Then you add the Shrimp Creole on top. Well, it's just heaven.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 cups long grain rice
- coarse salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large, oven-proof saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until foaming. Add the shallot and cook until clear and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add rice and stir to combine. cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is coated with butter and lightly toasted. Season with 1 teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste. Add the stock and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in oven and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 17 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Add the parsley and fluff with a fork just before serving.
I ate a bowl of this on the road home, and it tasted even better the next day. It eased the pain of the long, long drive home with a toddler (oh, the days when I could drive without stopping for wiggle breaks).