Shrimp Creole

Briny, savory, and delicious, this exceptional concoction should never be degraded by store-bought tomatoes. Try Burpee’s Globe or Burbank instead. What sends me over the edge is the subtle fragrance of boiled rice.

Yields 8 portions


¼ cup canola oil

4 cups diced onions

2 cups diced celery

2 cups small-diced green bell pepper

¼ cup slivered garlic

2 tsps salt

2 pounds plum, pear, or fig tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 tsp hot paprika

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsps Old Bay seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 ½ teaspoons fresh-ground black pepper

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 cups long-grain white rice

6 cups water

1 Tbsp salt

6 Tbsp (¾ stick) butter

1 bunch of scallions, chopped or cut into curls

  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, and salt. Cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes, or until sauce is medium thick, about the consistency of chunky applesauce.
  • In the meantime, combine the spices, salt, pepper, and flour in a large bowl. Toss the shrimp with the seasoned flour.
  • Combine the rice, water, and salt in 4-quart sauce pot. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  • When the sauce is done, melt the butter in a large sauté pan and cook the shrimp quickly over high heat until slightly browned. (If you don't have a large enough pan to accommodate all of the shrimp, divide the butter in half and the cook shrimp in two batches.) Remove the shrimp and deglaze the pan with some of the tomato sauce to capture the essence of the shrimp; add the deglazing liquid back to the tomato sauce. Reserve.
  • Add the shrimp to the tomato sauce and bring back to a simmer.
  • Serve the shrimp over the rice. Garnish with the scallions.