One of the benefits
living by the sea is the availability of fresh fish. It is so
cool to be able to go to the docks (see
related story) and buy fresh fish and shrimp at prices that
are 50-75% cheaper than the supermarkets and a thousand times
In this issue I want
to share with you another old recipe my mom taught me but (again) I
add my own twist with Costa Rican fresh herbs. The original
recipe called for canned tomatoes and dried oregano. The hell
with that, every thing that went into this Creole sauce was 100%
fresh, grown in Costa Rica and purchased at the local feria (farmers
STEP #1 - GATHERING YOUR INGREDIENTS...
8 Large Tomatoes
grandes) - skinned and cut into 1" (aprox.) cubes
6 cloves of fresh
garlic (ajo fresco) - finely chopped
1 medium red onion
(cebolla roja mediana) - diced
1 medium yellow
onion (amarillo medio cebolla) - diced
6 stalks of celery
(tallos de apio) - coarsely chopped
2 Bell Peppers
(chili dulce) - diced
1 KILO OF CLEANED AND DEVEINED SHRIMP
3 cup culantro
(cilantro is an OK substitute) - chopped -
difference between culantro and cilantro
3 tbs fresh
oregano (orégano fresco) - chopped
8 large basil
leaves - (hojas de albahaca grandes) - chopped
2 tsp table salt
- add more if necessary to taste)
1 tsp Ground Black
Pepper (pimienta negra molida
1/2 tsp crushed red
pepper (pimienta roja molida)
1/2 tsp Ground
Chile Powder (chile en polvo) - more if you like it muy picante
3 tsp Sugar (azúcar)
STEP #2 - MAKING THE CREOLE SAUCE...
In a large pot,
add 1/2 cup of EVOO. Heat on medium. Add Garlic,
Onions, Celery, Peppers and sauté on medium heat until veggies
from pot and set aside in a separate bowl for later re-entry
In your empty pot,
add remaining (1/2 cup) of EVOO. Increase your heat to
medium high heat. Once oil is hot, slowly add tomatoes.
careful not to splash oil when adding tomatoes.
Cook tomatoes for about 15 minutes stirring every few minutes.
CONTINUE SLOW COOK ON
Do You Like
Your Sauce Puree or Chunky Style?
how you like your sauce, you can either puree your
tomatoes with a hand blender or simply mash them with a
potato masher. I like my Creole sauce chunky so
I use the potato masher.
Add FRESH HERBS (culantro,
oregano and basil) and the DRIED SPICES (salt, black
pepper, chile powder, red pepper and sugar to the tomato
mixture. Mix together well.
Reduce heat to medium
low and cook (covered) for about 20 minutes. If sauce
looks like it is getting too thick, add a little water.
STEP #3 - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SHRIMP...
Shrimp should be bite size.
Therefore, if you are using large shrimp, cut them down to about
3/4." In my case, I am using small shrimp called "pinkies."
These little suckers are already about 3/4" so I will do nada.
Bring your sauce up to a
temperature where it is just barely bubbling.
Add your raw shrimp and let it
cook for 10-15 minutes. The shrimp should look pink but
STEP #4 - SERVE WITH RICE...
When my mama taught me to make
shrimp Creole, she always served over white rice.
Therefore I know no other way to serve it. Therefore, all
I'm going to say now is make your damn rice... anyway you know
When the rice is done, spoon it
onto the center of your plate.
Using a soup ladle, distribute a
full portion of shrimp Creole over the rice.
Serve with a salad and some nice
A nice red wine will complete the
ES MUY PERFECTO!
KING CREOLE LOVE HIS SHRIMP