How about something to spice up your Monday?
It has shrimp. It has sausage. It has a little kick to get you moving on this fine Monday.
AND it’s quick and easy! Cooks in one pot (plus a pot for the rice) so you’re in and out with very little to clean up.
Here’s what you need:
1-1.5 pounds shrimp, smoked sausage* (pictured below), celery, fresh parsley, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, diced tomatoes, hot sauce, olive oil, Worcesteshire Sauce, hot sauce, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, and Creole Seasoning (see photo below)
Ethnic Food Disclaimer: I am a redhead with freckles, not a Cajun. But I still think this is really good… and I make a killer pot of Gumbo…if I do say so myself.
Andouille Sausage is undoubtedly more authentic, however this smoked sausage had been languishing in my freezer for ages so I used it. Either one will work just fine.
Creole Seasoning…I had it in the pantry so I added some. Sorry it didn’t make it into the ingredient photo.
The main ingredient in this Creole Seasoning is salt so go easy at first, taste and add more as you see fit.
Okay, let’s cook!
If you’re going to serve this Shrimp Creole over rice, you need to start cooking the rice first. The Creole is pretty quick cooking and will cook in the time it takes to make the rice.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 cup of rice, season with salt and 1 Tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Turn the heat down to a very low simmer. Put the lid on and leave the rice alone for about 20 minutes. Remember the secret to good, fluffy rice is NO PEEKING!
If you need more help cooking rice, or just want to read my rantings and ravings about rice cooking go HERE.
Chop up a big onion. No need to do anything fancy – just a regular old chop will do.
Seed and chop up a large red bell pepper. Red bell peppers are sweeter than green peppers and I think add more flavor.
Chop several stalks of celery (at least 1 cup). Don’t forget the celery leaves…they have great flavor!
Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil to a large pot. Just enough to coat the bottom.
Add the onions, red pepper and celery and cook over medium heat until tender and shiny but not browned.
Did you know that onions, bell peppers and celery are called the Holy Trinity in Southern cooking? It’s true!
Smash, peel and dice up a few cloves of garlic. I usually use about 4 -5.
Add the garlic to the pot after the other veggies have already had a head start — about 5 minutes or so. That way the garlic won’t cook too quickly and burn.
Cut the summer sausage in half lengthwise and then into little 1/2 round pieces.
Add the sausage to the pot. This will give the Creole a great smokey flavor.
Of course, if you are not a sausage eater, you can always leave this out and it would be a Pescatarian Dish. (I just learned that term the other day….Vegetarians who eat fish are Pescatarians.)
Personally, I’ve never met a sausage I didn’t like so in it goes!
Add 2 (14 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes. I happen to have Fire Roasted tomatoes but regular diced tomatoes will work just fine. I really like the fire roasted because they have a little richer and deeper flavor than plain tomatoes. Just stay away from the pre-seasoned varieties or you might end up with weird seasonings you don’t want.
Cook the tomatoes, veggies and sausage over medium heat for 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes break down and create a lovely broth.
Now, for some spices and seasonings! Add about 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce, some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, regular ground black pepper, and Creole Seasoning. I’d start with about 1 Tablespoon, taste and adjust to suit your taste.
Add some hot sauce too! I love Frank’s Hot Sauce because it has great flavor and just a little bit of heat.
Lots of people like things spicier, so I always have a variety of hot sauces that I offer so they can spice up their own food. Each sauce has a different level of heat and flavor. Give a few of these a try sometime.
By now your rice should have absorbed all the water and your Creole sauce should be thick and flavorful.
Add 1-1.5 pounds of peeled and de-veined shrimp.
I buy my shrimp in the shells and peel them myself. It’s more affordable takes very little time. Just remember to remove that little black line on the back of the shrimp. That is what’s called the vein although it really isn’t a vein. Whatever you want to call it, take it out. You can also look for “Easy Peel” shrimp where the shell has been split and the vein has already been removed for you.
Nestle the shrimp down in the pot so they can cook and absorb all the spices and tomatoey goodness.
Chop up a little fresh parsley (1/4 – 1/2 cup) and add it to the pot.
The shrimp will cook very quickly. They are done when they turn pink and the edges just begin to curl. This usually takes less than 5 minutes over medium heat.
Fluff up your rice with a fork to separate the grains.
Serve the Shrimp and Sausage Creole over a bed of rice.
Put on some Zydeco Music and it’s a party!
Here’s the recipe!