|From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)|
Creole Sauce is extremely verstile in NOLA Cuisine and Louisiana cooking in general. It is the basis for so many dishes, when you come right down to it, with just slight variations for each, so I’m going to try to break this down as I see it, but first things first. My recipe for Creole Sauce. This is a loose recipe, keep in mind everyone has their own, whether they call it Red Gravy, Creole Tomato Sauce, Sauce Piquant (which isn’t exactly the same but darned similar), but they all contain the same basic ingredients:
Tomatoes, Holy Trinity (Onion, Celery, Bell Pepper), Garlic, Some kind of Stock (usually chicken, more on this later), Cayenne, Hot Sauce, Bay Leaf, Seasonings (Salt & pepper or maybe a Creole seasoning, almost always Thyme), Green Onions and Parsley.
These are what I consider the basics for a Creole Sauce. Here is how I make a small batch (it’s usually just my wife and I, so this makes enough for dinner and a little left over for use in another recipe) of basic Creole Sauce:
Creole Sauce Recipe
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Julienned
2 Stalks Celery, Julienned
1 small Bell Pepper, Julienned
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (14 1/2 oz.) or Same amount Fresh from the Garden
Stock to cover, about 2 cups
2 Fresh Bay leaves
Salt, Black Pepper, Thyme (dried), Cayenne, White Pepper all To Taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Hot Sauce, To Taste (I use Crystal Hot Sauce)
2 Tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
3 Thinly sliced Green Onions
Corn Starch Slurry (2 Tbsp. Corn starch/2 Tbsp Water) or Dark Roux
depending on the dish.
**Note** If you don’t want to use a thickening agent, simply reduce the sauce until it is the correct consistency.
Heat the oil over medium heat, add the Trinity and saute until slightly wilted. Add the Garlic and Tomatoes and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Cover with the stock by 1/2 inch, add Bay Leaves and a small amount of seasoning, bring to a boil; lower to a simmer. If using Roux, add at this point. Not too much, maybe 1-2 Tablespoons. If it gets too thick, add a little more stock or water. It should be loose but not too watery. Simmer about 20 minutes. Add the seasonings and Hot sauce to taste. Add the Worcestershire Sauce, Parsley and Green Onions. If using the slurry, Bring to a boil then add the slurry, a little at a time until it is the right consistency. It should be tight, but not watery. Not too thick, not too thin. Remove the Bay leaves.