Guest Blogger: Sara’s Shrimp Creole

Sara Billings is back! She had a fun Mardi Gras party last weekend and made this shrimp creole for everyone, which was really tasty. Even though Mardi Gras is technically over, I’m sure you can still find a reason to eat some spicy, tomato-y shrimp, even if just to relive the good times of Mardi Gras past.

Mardi Gras is my second-favorite holiday after Thanksgiving. I’ve visited New Orleans numerous times for Jazz Fest and Halloween, and I always enjoy eating my heart out while I’m there. I love the rich culture, laid-back atmosphere, exciting sounds, and most of all, the delicious flavors of the Big Easy. I decided to share my love of New Orleans with my friends by cooking Emeril’s Shrimp Creole (found on This is one of my favorite dishes to cook and eat. The flavors are bold, with the sweetness from the shrimp and the tomatoes and the subtle spice from the seasoning. I’ve cooked this for intimate dinners with past boyfriends, for holiday parties with my somewhat picky family, and now for a Mardi Gras party with my friends, and it has always been a crowd pleaser. For my Mardi Gras party, Dirk at Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop in Chicago recommended small wild Floridian shrimp, and these were some of the most delicious little buggers I have ever cooked—so sweet and scrumptious.

Shrimp Creole
Serves 6-8 healthy eaters

4 oz (1 stick butter)
2 c chopped onions
1 c chopped celery
Salt and cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
2 lbs peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes (I use the canned tomatoes)
1 Tbl chopped garlic
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
2 Tbl all-purpose flour
1 c water
2 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined with the tail off)
Bayou Blast (recipe below)
½ c chopped green onions
2 Tbl chopped parsley
4 c long-grain rice

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, and celery. Season with salt and cayenne and sauté until the veggies are wilted, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves, tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and cayenne again. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, adding a little water if it gets too dry. Season with Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce (I usually leave out the hot sauce and just put some on the table). Whisk flour and water together and add to the pot. Cook for 4-6 minutes. Season the shrimp with Bayou Blast. Add the shrimp and cook for 4-6 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and curl up. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, because they will become tough. Stir in the green onions and parsley. Serve with rice.

Bayou Blast (Bam!)
2 ½ Tbl paprika
2 Tbl salt
2 Tbl garlic powder
1 Tbl black pepper
1 Tbl onion powder
1 Tbl cayenne pepper
1 Tbl dried oregano
1 Tbl dried thyme


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About Kate Soto

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