Cajun/Tico Shrimp Creole...

OTHER RECIPES


One of the benefits living by the sea is the availability of fresh fish.  It is so cool to be able to go to the docks (see related story) and buy fresh fish and shrimp at prices that are 50-75% cheaper than the supermarkets and a thousand times fresher.

In this issue I want to share with you another old recipe my mom taught me but (again) I add my own twist with Costa Rican fresh herbs.  The original recipe called for canned tomatoes and dried oregano.  The hell with that, every thing that went into this Creole sauce was 100% fresh, grown in Costa Rica and purchased at the local feria (farmers market).


STEP #1 - GATHERING YOUR INGREDIENTS...

MAIN INGREDIENT:

  • 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) fresh shrimp (camarón fresco)- cleaned and de-veined)

VEGGIES:

  • 8 Large Tomatoes (tomates grandes) - skinned and cut into 1" (aprox.) cubes

  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic (ajo fresco) - finely chopped

  • 1 medium red onion (cebolla roja mediana) - diced

  • 1 medium yellow onion (amarillo medio cebolla) - diced

  • 6 stalks of celery (tallos de apio) - coarsely chopped

  • 2 Bell Peppers (chili dulce) - diced


1 KILO OF CLEANED AND DEVEINED SHRIMP

FRESH HERBS:

  • 3 cup culantro (cilantro is an OK substitute) - chopped - difference between culantro and cilantro

  • 3 tbs fresh oregano (orégano fresco) - chopped

  • 8 large basil leaves - (hojas de albahaca grandes) - chopped

DRIED SPICES

  • 2 tsp table salt (sal) - add more if necessary to taste)

  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper (pimienta negra molida

  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (pimienta roja molida)

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Chile Powder (chile en polvo) - more if you like it muy picante

  • 3 tsp Sugar (azúcar)


STEP #2 - MAKING  THE CREOLE SAUCE...

  • In a large pot, add 1/2 cup of EVOO.  Heat on medium.  Add Garlic, Onions, Celery, Peppers and sauté on medium heat until veggies are soft.

  • Remove veggies from pot and set aside in a separate bowl for later re-entry into sauce.

  • In your empty pot, add remaining (1/2 cup) of EVOO.  Increase your heat to medium high heat.  Once oil is hot, slowly add tomatoes.  Be careful not to splash oil when adding tomatoes.  Cook tomatoes for about 15 minutes stirring every few minutes.


SLOW SIMMER

ADDING SHRIMP

CONTINUE SLOW COOK ON SHRIMP

 

Do You Like Your Sauce Puree or Chunky Style?

Depending on how you like your sauce, you can either puree your tomatoes with a hand blender or simply mash them with a potato masher.  I like my Creole sauce chunky so I use the potato masher.

  • Add FRESH HERBS (culantro, oregano and basil) and the DRIED SPICES (salt, black pepper, chile powder, red pepper and sugar to the tomato mixture.  Mix together well. 

  • Reduce heat to medium low and cook (covered) for about 20 minutes.  If sauce looks like it is getting too thick, add a little water.


STEP #3 - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHRIMP...

  • Shrimp should be bite size.  Therefore, if you are using large shrimp, cut them down to about 3/4." In my case, I am using small shrimp called "pinkies."  These little suckers are already about 3/4" so I will do nada.

  • Bring your sauce up to a temperature where it is just barely bubbling.

  • Add your raw shrimp and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.  The shrimp should look pink but not white.


STEP #4 - SERVE WITH RICE...

  • When my mama taught me to make shrimp Creole, she always served over white rice.  Therefore I know no other way to serve it.  Therefore, all I'm going to say now is make your damn rice... anyway you know how.

  • When the rice is done, spoon it onto the center of your plate.

  • Using a soup ladle, distribute a full portion of shrimp Creole over the rice.

  • Serve with a salad and some nice French bread. 

  • A nice red wine will complete the meal.


PERFECT CONSISTENCY


ES MUY PERFECTO!


KING CREOLE LOVE HIS SHRIMP


OTHER RECIPES

 

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