05 January 2010

a meal to enjoy

This recipe has become one that marks special meals in our home, as well as some everyday occasions. My father-in-law prepared it for our engagement party oh those years ago. We've had it at christmas time with his family & at other gatherings as well. While I thought this recipe came from his years in Mobile, AL, it comes by way of his wife Diane via her mother & their family meals. Her mother prepared this many a time & used some very fresh seafood in the process. I'm happy to learn of the recipe's true origins, having taken the time to ask.

On another note, when I wrote this out, the amounts were dictated via a phone call long ago. There aren't actually written instructions because I treat the preparation the same as I would treat gumbo, which I truly LOVE making. There are so many deep connections to family & food. We enjoyed this meal at Christmas and again at the New Year. We'll enjoy it for many, many years to come.

Shrimp Creole
from the recipe collection of Joan Lipsett, Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
4 tsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour

Make the roux by melting the butter & adding the flour. Stir & stir over a medium heat until the color is a light brown. Add the chopped veggies & simmer for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are wilted. I tend to cover them & stir every couple of minutes. Be sure to stir so the flour won't stick and burn in the pan.

Add to the veggies & roux:
19 oz. can tomatoes
5 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne (or more)
1 tsp. worchershire sauce
1/4 tsp. tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp thyme
2 tsp. basil Stir.

Allow to come to a boil. You know, when the pot starts talking to you. Add:

1/2 lb. shrimp
1/2 lb. scallops
1/2 lb. prans (or chopped fish. we've used catfish or tilapia. the fish can be slightly frozen since it will cook so quickly. keeps its shape well this way)

Let cook over the medium to medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, or more. Watch that the tomato sauce doesn't scorch. You will want to stir periodically. The creole is best served over rice (saffron rice is good also: add a pinch of saffron to the rice water when cooking). Make sure to keep on a really low heat once the seafood is cooked through. The creole will be thick and delicious.

Serve over saffron rice (as mentioned above).

*I adapt the dry ingredients as to what I have available & double the recipe as well. I use lemon zest because I don't always have lemon pepper, but do have a lemon and fresh ground pepper. The herbs are dry, but I always have fresh thyme outside so I use fresh when available. I also purchase a large can of tomatoes & puree them so that I go by the amounts, but in a more economical manner for our meal preparations.


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