Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shrimp Sauce Piquante

Shrimp Sauce Piquante is the original version of Shrimp Creole. I’ve prepared this dish for a party of four and a lively crowd of eighty…just had to chop up a lot more veggies and throw them into the pot! One great thing about this recipe is once you do that, it’s all on simmer after that. Actually, the longer and slower you cook it, the better it is. No matter how long you simmer it, hold off and do not add the shrimp until the last 20 minutes.

This is the toned down version of the dish. I always double both the Cayenne and Chili powder because I like mine really spicy. I also put a lot more wine in mine – like a half bottle - because I love what the wine adds to the taste of the dish. This is definitely a recipe that you should fine-tune to satisfy your own taste buds.

It’s also a perfect Super Bowl recipe, especially this year since the Saints are playing. Make sure you make plenty of cornbread to soak up the flavors because they are both spicy and bold.

I know it looks like a lot of ingredients but I promise that the mix of the spices is so surprisingly good.

It’s also a little work to get through the process of making the roux for the first time but the roux is what gives the dish its enormous taste. My secret: I keep a jar of peanut butter near the stove to make sure that I bring the roux up to the correct color.

My favorite recipe ever? Close…but we’ll save that for another post.

Shrimp Sauce Piquante (Shrimp Creole)

2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
½ Cup Flour
1 ¾ Cup thinly sliced Shallots (scallions)
1/3 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Cup Chopped Onion
½ Cup Chopped Green Pepper
4 tsp Finely Minced Garlic
3 TBSP Finely Minced Fresh Parsley
1 One-Lb Can Italian Style Whole Peeled Tomatoes, Drained
1 Eight-Oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 TBSP Minced Chives
4 TBSP Dry Red Wine
4 Whole Bay Leaves, crushed
6 Whole Allspice
2 Whole Cloves
2 tsp Salt
¾ tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
½ tsp Cayenne
¼ tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Mace
¼ tsp Basil
¼ tsp Thyme
4 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Cups Water
2 lb Whole, Fresh, Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
Boiled Rice

In a heavy 6-8 quart pot, heat oil and gradually add the flour, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until a medium roux is formed (should be the color of peanut butter).
Remove from heat and add fresh, chopped vegetables and parsley. Mix well with roux, then return to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to brown.
Mix in canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, then add the chives, wine, seasonings, and lemon juice and mix again.
Raise heat under the pan and bring to a low boil. Add the water and mix thoroughly. When the mixture boils again, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes.
Just before serving, add the shrimp and allow to come to a low boil again, then cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the burner and allow to stand, covered, at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Serve over boiled rice.

Note: If you can find Botan brand Calrose Rice, I would highly recommend it. Follow the instructions on the package. Don’t take the cover off the pan until the timer has gone off and you will have perfect rice!

Bon Appetit!