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    Shrimp Creole

    Source of Recipe

    From "Jubilee" by Toni Tipton-Martin

    Recipe Introduction

    "Not long ago, I wrote that Lena Richard may be the twentieth century's least celebrated celebrity chef, but today she is compared with Martha Stewart for expanding her brand through an empire built on restaurant ownership, cookbook publishing, and food manufacturing. She was a great cook and creator of joy who appeared on a television cooking show twenty years before Julia Child was a household name. To honor Richard, I selected the dish she called Shrimp Fricassee à la Creole, from the 'New Orleans Cookbook.' I learned to refine it from chef Homer Luke of Homer and Edy's Bistro in Los Angeles. Richard allowed the shrimp to linger in the sauce for a long braise so the flavors could mingle, while chef Luke poached shrimp in their shells so they retained their flavor and kept their snappy texture, then peeled them just before adding them to a sauce of fresh tomatoes seasoned with the Holy Trinity (celery, bell pepper, and onions). Here I do as Homer does. (The flavor of the broth intensifies as the shrimp cooks, so please reserve it to boil additional shrimp, or strain the stock and freeze it for another use.)"

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ 1 lemon, halved
    ◦ 1 small onion, quartered, plus 1 ½ cups chopped
    ◦ 1 celery stalk with leaves, halved, plus ½ cup chopped
    ◦ Stems from 2 sprigs fresh parsley, plus 2 teaspoons minced parsley
    ◦ 1 large and one small bay leaf
    ◦ 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    ◦ 1 ½ tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt
    ◦ 10 whole black peppercorns
    ◦ 5 whole cloves
    ◦ ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    ◦ ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    ◦ 1 pound shell-on shrimp
    ◦ 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, vegetable or olive oil, or melted butter
    ◦ ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
    ◦ 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    ◦ 1 cup chopped tomatoes
    ◦ Freshly cooked rice


    In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, bring 1 quart water to a boil. Add the lemon halves, onion quarters, celery pieces, parsley stems, large bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons salt, the peppercorns, cloves, and ¼ teaspoon each of the thyme and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.

    Add the shrimp to the pot and return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the shrimp just turn pink, about 5 minutes. If necessary, remove faster-cooking shrimp from the pan as they are done. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the shrimp stock for the sauce. (Refrigerate or freeze the remaining stock for later use.) Once cool enough to handle, peel and devein the shrimp.

    In a large skillet, heat the bacon fat over medium until sizzling. Add the bell pepper, chopped celery, and chopped onion and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, reserved shrimp stock, small bay leaf, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon each thyme and cayenne. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the tomatoes are saucy, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

    Stir in the shrimp and cook just a few minutes to heat them through. Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve spooned over rice.

    Serves 4 or 5




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