My accumulation of cookbooks started early, and I’m sure that is true of most cooks. One of my favorite cookbooks dates back to when I was a girl traveling in New Orleans with my parents. One that I didn’t mention in my post about my cookbook addiction is New Orleans Creole Recipes, by Mary Moore Bremer. It was first published in 1932. If you are interested in a copy, you can click on the picture above and order one.
I’ve used her recipe for Shrimp Creole with variations ever since I was a new young wife living in Mississippi. I like the way she gives her recipes in narrative form and I’ve always tended to do that, as well. What follows is my own version that I’ve developed over the years.
First, you make a good, rich roux, using one large tablespoon of lard and one of flour. Lard is actually less toxic than margarine or shortening.
Then you chop up two onions, two cloves of garlic, one large bell pepper, two teaspoons of parsley. Add all of that to the roux and stir until the onion browns slightly, then add a large can of tomatoes. I add a small can of tomato paste and an equal can of water.
Season with ½ teaspoon red pepper, salt, bay leaves, 1/3 teaspoon celery seeds and ¼ teaspoon powdered thyme.
You can either add two pounds of raw, shelled shrimp, or several cans of shrimp if fresh is not available to you.
Cover and let it cook slowly for an hour in an old-fashioned iron heavy Dutch oven. Any heavy pot will do. If you are using canned shrimp, you don’t have to cook it as long, and you would add the shrimp at the end, just long enough to get them hot.
Half an hour before serving, add two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce. Serve over brown rice for a healthy meal.
I usually make a big loaf of sour dough bread to share. Add a salad and it makes a total meal, fit for any company.
A hui hou!