Wednesday, February 6, 2013


These first few weeks of February give us plenty of reason to celebrate - from the Superbowl to Chinese New Year, Mardis Gras to  Valentines, this season offers plenty of opportunities to cook up a storm!
With Mardis Gras right around the corner, I thought this recipe for Shrimp Creole would be a fun one to serve to your Fat Tuesday party guests -Enjoy and laissez les bonne temps rouler!!
Recipe from Heidi Billotto, Charlotte Culinary Expert

For the Marinaded Seafood:                   
½ cup canned Asian coconut milk
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lime juice
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. freshly minced garlic
2 Tbsp. fresh minced cilantro
3 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined or use a mix of your favorite seafoods or an equivalent amount of chicken

For the Creole sauce:
2 Tbsp. your favorote extra virgin olive oil from Pour Olive on East Blvd.
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onions
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup celery, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cans organic diced tomatoes with the liquid
3 Tbsp. tomato paste in a tube or tomato powder from the Savory Spice Shop
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 stalk fresh thyme  (or 1 Tbsp. dried thyme leaves)
4 Tbsp. ground coriander
4 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ cup canned Asian coconut milk
2 Tbsp. Pickapeppa sauce

Begin by marinating the shrimp or seafood. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a plastic container or stainless steel bowl. Add shrimp. Toss well to make sure that shrimp are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours.

For the Creole sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saute pan over medium heat.  When oil is hot, add onions and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add bell peppers, celery and fennel and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add jalapeno, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Season the Creole with bay leaves, thyme, 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 2 tablespoons cilantro, salt, black pepper and sugar.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until vegetables have cooked down and liquid has reduced to create a thick sauce. Stir occasionally.

Add green onions, coconut milk, Pickapeppa sauce and the remaining coriander. Heat through and reserve.

 Just before serving:

Place shrimp, seafood or chicken and marinade in a large saucepan and heat over medium high heat until shrimp turn pink and begin to curl.  Remove from heat; spoon over a bed of rice and nap with Creole sauce. Sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro.

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