Shrimp Creole Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

To be quite honest, there are certain dishes that I never intended to include on this site because they have been so completely bastardized by restaurants across the country. Shrimp Creole is near the top of the list. Why would I want to include this dish? Everyone has a recipe for it. A lot of restaurants, even outside of Louisiana serve it. Why in the hell do I even want to bother? Everyone knows what Shrimp Creole is!

But then it dawned on me. You know what? Maybe because of all the hack versions out there, a lot of people, especially outside of Louisiana, don’t know how great Shrimp Creole can be! Every bad rendition of Shrimp Creole, just like Shrimp Etouffee, served in some dive restaurants across the country, have created a perception to the diner that this dish is just OK, or in the worst case scenario, absolutely horrible. For God’s sake, some restaurants even serve shrimp covered in canned Marinara sauce and pass it off as Shrimp Creole. Yikes.

There are a lot of good and bad recipes for Shrimp Creole out there, hopefully you will enjoy this one as much as I do. The defining factor that I think makes this dish great, instead of just good, in addition to the use of the highest quality Louisiana or Gulf Shrimp, is using homemade Shrimp Stock in place of water during the preparation of your Creole Sauce.

All that aside, on to the dish…

As I see it, Shrimp Creole and Shrimp Sauce Piquant are pretty much the same dish, with a few differences.

First, Shrimp Creole, or as it was once known, Shrimp a la Creole, is a New Orleans dish. Shrimp Sauce Piquant is Acadian, much spicier (hence the name) and usually, but not always containing a roux. But as I said, they’re pretty darned similar, and like most dishes in New Orleans these days the two cuisines have kind of merged in a lot of different areas. Like any dish that there are a trillion recipes for, it’s all a matter of your personal taste.

Like I always say, let’s not fight, it’s only dinner after all, just make sure it tastes good.

The Recipe:

Shrimp Creole Recipe

2 lbs. Peeled and Deveined Shrimp, save shells to make Shrimp Stock
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
1 small Green Pepper, finely Chopped
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2-1/2 Cups Very Ripe Fresh Tomatoes, Diced
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
2 Cups Shrimp Stock (recipe here)
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
Cayenne to taste
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt to taste
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp White Pepper
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp Tabasco
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup Green Onions, green tops thinly sliced, white part sliced into 1/4″ thickness
1/8 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan with the vegetable oil over medium high heat. When the butter begins to froth add 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown. Add the remaining onions, celery, and bell pepper, reduce the heat to medium and season with 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning and a healthy pinch of salt. Sweat the vegetables until soft.

Add the tomato paste mixing well, and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, then add the fresh tomatoes and another healthy pinch of Kosher salt, this will help the tomatoes break down. Stir well.

When the tomatoes start to break down into liquid add the white wine, and turn the heat to high until most of the alcohol burns off. Add the Shrimp Stock, remaining Creole seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne (to taste), and Thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

(If necessary at this point thicken the sauce with 1 Tbsp Cornstarch/ 2Tbsp water. Bring to a boil to maximize the thickening power of the cornstarch.)

Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, and season to taste with Kosher salt. Last chance to re-season your sauce, remember that good cooking is all about proper seasoning. Make your Boiled Rice, and season your shrimp with 1 Tbsp Kosher salt and a pinch of Cayenne.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp. The key is to not overcook your shrimp. Let them slowly simmer in the sauce until just cooked through.

Serve with boiled rice and garnish with the remaining green onions and parsley.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes, which provides links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
Shrimp Stock Recipe
Shrimp Remoulade Recipe

Shrimp Stock Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

Chefs and cookbook authors alike sound like broken records when discussing stocks, “…there is no substitute for a well made stock.” But hey, it’s true. There really is no substitute for a well made stock. But can you use that stuff on the grocery store shelves, (which they have the gall to label “stock”), in a pinch? Of course. I use them from time to time myself when I’m out of the real deal, but the results are never, ever as good as homemade.

Stocks add not only a richness of flavor but also of texture when it comes to Chicken and Beef Stock. When chicken or beef stock are made well, that is, slowly cooked over a low flame for hours, they are gelatinous and rich. So rich in fact that when cooled they are the texture of Jello, let’s see Kitchen Basics or Emeril’s brand hold a candle to that. But they do take a lot of time, which brings me to why I love Shrimp Stock, because it takes no time at all, an hour tops.

I always buy shell on shrimp. Why? For the same reason I buy bone in cuts of meat. Stock. The amount of shrimp you’re using for this recipe will produce enough Shrimp Stock for the shrimp recipes calling for it on this site, plus some extra to freeze for later use. Shrimp stock only needs to cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, once you reach the simmering point.

Shrimp Stock Recipe

The Shells and tails from 2 lb. of Shrimp
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1/4 Cup chopped Celery
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Lemon sliced
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 tsp. Black Peppercorns

Add all ingredients to a dutch oven or a moderate sized stock pot. Cover this with cold water, it should be about 6-8 Cups Cups. Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or chinois.

Stock freezes very well. I always break it up into one use batches by putting it into those plastic ziploc containers. Just remember to leave about 1 inch of headroom as it will expand when it freezes.

Be sure and check out my ever growing, Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes, which features links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Beef Stock
Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
Shrimp Creole Recipe

Pan Fried Pomfret with Meuniere Butter

From Nola Cuisine

When we returned home from our recent trip to New Orleans I couldn’t get Galatoire’s out of my head, especially the Pompano with Crabmeat Yvonne, although the whole meal was very memorable. By the way, the Galatoire’s Cookbook is phenomenal, an absolute keeper. Their Meuniere Butter is to die for with crabmeat and especially with crabmeat and Pompano, so I decided to search for some Pompano, which I find only very rarely from one source here in Michigan. He didn’t have it but suggested that I try something similar, Pomfret.

Pomfret, or Butterfish, are in the same family as Pompano, in fact they look like a little Pompano, but you cook them whole; my fish guy suggested Pan Frying, which is what I did, topped with Galatoire’s Style Meuniere Butter (recipe below). A great guy with a great suggestion.

I also served these with Brabant Potatoes, another excellent part of our meal at Galatoire’s.

The Pomfret were super fresh and delicious, although not quite Pompano, lacking the sweetness by a bit, but very similar in flavor and texture, while in shrinky-dink size.

I cut the heads off for the sake of my wife, who like most Americans, is squeamish about making eye contact with her dinner. I personally like to be able to give my dinner a wink if it tastes good, or the unforgivable Stink Eye if I didn’t care for how it tasted, that’s just me.

Here is the recipe:

Pan Fried Pomfret with Galatoire’s Style Meuniere Butter

2 Pomfret per person, heads removed if you have squeamish guests
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil for pan-frying
1 Recipe Galatoire’s Style Meuniere Butter (recipe below)
Lemon Wedges
Chopped Italian Parsley for garnish

Combine the flour, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a bowl. Dredge the prepared Pomfret in the seasoned flour and set aside for 15-20 minutes.

In a large Cast Iron Skillet add about 1/2 an inch of oil to the pan, heat over medium flame until a sprinkle of flour flares up and starts to brown.

Add the floured Pomfret to the pan, in batches if necessary, so as to not overcrowd the pan. Pan-fry until golden brown on each side and cooked through.

Serve on a platter with lemon wedges, and top with the Meuniere Butter (recipe below), garnish with chopped Italian parsley. The flesh flakes away easily from the bones when eating, just use your fork to gently flake it away.

Galatoire’s Style Meuniere Butter Recipe

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Kosher Salt (or use Salted Butter and omit the salt)
1 & 1/2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 & 1/2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
Large Sauce Pan (make sure that your pan is large enough, as the sauce will flare up when you add the liquids to the hot butter)

In a large sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat, add the salt (if using unsalted butter). Cook the butter, stirring frequently, until the fat is a nice golden brown and the solids just start to brown. Along the way the butter will go through a lot of changes, foaming, etc. When the butter reaches the appropriate color remove from the heat, stand back and very carefully add the juice and vinegar. **WARNING** it will flare up quite violently so make sure you are using a big enough pan! Pour a genourous portion of the Meuniere Butter over the fish, be sure to give it a stir as the dark brown solids contain a lot of the flavor.

Related Posts:

Our Dinner at Galatoire’s
Redfish Courtbouillon
Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Creole Tartar Sauce

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes, which links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Galatoire’s Restaurant

We had a very aggressive dining schedule on our most recent trip to New Orleans last month, the finale being dinner at Galatoire’s on our last night in the city.

Galatoire’s Restaurant
209 Bourbon Street
New Orleans , LA 70130

Galtoire’s is a legendary restaurant, right on Bourbon street, surrounded by strip clubs, bars and even sharing a wall with a sex shop. It’s odd to step from the raucousness of Bourbon Street into a restaurant which has seen over 100 years of history, elegance and tradition, and still manages to be unpretentious and a hell of a lot of fun. Jean Galatoire opened the restaurants doors in 1905, and it has remained in the family ever since, they’re on their fourth generation of family ownership. In November of 2005 the family also opened Galatoire’s Bistro in Baton Rouge. Richard at Appetites gives a good comparison of the two restaurants here.

After all of my trips to New Orleans over the years, I finally made it to Galatoire’s, and it was well worth the wait.

In addition to wonderfully prepared French Creole Cuisine, the highlight of a visit to Galatoire’s will most likely be your waiter, probably one of the most knowledgeable in the city. Our waiter was Tony, an excellent waiter, friendly, jovial, and just one hell of a nice guy.

We started off with Souffle Potatoes and Shrimp Remoulade, I had a Sazerac, which Galatoire’s serves on the rocks, unless specified otherwise. Hey, when in Rome, right?

The Souffle Potatoes are a lost art, except in the old line Creole restaurants of New Orleans, those being Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, and Galatoire’s. They were easily my favorite part of the whole meal, out of sheer respect for the stalwart adherence to tradition and quality. Not to mention they are just a delicious and addicting appetizer. Little edible zeppelins as crispy as a potato chip with a perfect Bearnaise Sauce for dipping.

The Shrimp Remoulade was also fantastic, and my favorite Remoulade Sauce that I’ve had in the city thus far. In my opinion a perfect balance of flavors. (Galatoire’s Shrimp Remoulade Recipe)

Next I selected a nice French White Burgundy for the meal, and Tony brought us a staple for any great dining experience in New Orleans, a loaf of New Orleans French Bread, soft in the center with a flaky crust that keeps the busboys busy with their crumbers.

The fish selections were Pompano, Flounder, and Cobia. My wife asked if the Flounder would be good Amandine style and Tony kind of swayed and suggested it broiled with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Lemon. As I told my wife, trust your waiter. Listen to him. As a matter of fact, many regulars of Galatoire’s will let their waiter order for them. It basically goes like this…What would you like today? Lunch please.

I ordered Pompano with Crabmeat Yvonne and had my first taste of true Meuniere butter, Galatoire’s style, I fell in love with it and it’s now part of my repertoire. The Pompano was everything it should be, buttery flesh that melts in your mouth. The Crabmeat Yvonne topping is sauteed Mushrooms, Artichoke bottoms, Jumbo Lump Crabmeat with Meuniere butter. It is named for the Granddaughter of Jean Galatoire and daughter of Justin Galatoire. She worked in the restaurant starting as cashier in 1938. She managed from 1964 until 1997 when she retired and she was president of the business from 1984 until her death in 2000.

Our side dish was Brabant Potatoes, so named for their square shape. They were crispy and deliciously tossed in a New Orleans Bordelaise which is kind of a garlic butter.

Dessert was a creamy Creme Carmel which is a must at Galtoire’s…

…as is Cafe Brulot, flamed tableside. Brandy and Orange Liqeur are flamed in a Brulot bowl with Orange and lemon peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves…

Tony ladles the flambe for flourish…

The flambe is extinguished with good strong Cafe Noir.

The finished product is ladled into coffee cups.

A perfect end to an extraordinary evening at Galatoire’s. Tony introduced us to one of the Galatoire family members who manages the restaurant, a delightful gentleman who thanked us for our patronage, and even took our picture in front of the restaurant.

By the way Galatoire’s also has a phenomenal Galatoire’s Cookbook that came out shortly before the storm, it’s a keeper. Great pics, recipes, and history.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!

Related Recipes:

Pan Fried Pomfret with Galatoire’s Style Meuniere Butter
Sazerac Recipe
Bearnaise Sauce Recipe
New Orleans Style Bordelaise
Shrimp Remoulade Recipe
Brabant Potatoes Recipe