cooking | food | meals | recipe | rice | savory | shrimp | vanilla

Shrimp creole, ya’ll!

September 6, 2008

I never got to go to New Orleans, or ‘Nawlins’ as the natives of Louisiana say. My family did before I was born and they’ve always said how beautiful it was, and how much they loved it. And when Hurricane Katrina happened and those levees broke, I saw the devastation, and aside from the helplessness and sorrow I had for those people, I had the same feeling I had on September 11, 2001: anger. Anger because I hate to see a city filled with such life torn apart like that. And I really wished I’d been able to get there before that, because I knew that it might not ever be restored back to its original beauty. Of course, it was different, because 9-11 was a different kind of tragedy, a man-made one, I’m a native New Yorker,  and I was actually present during its happening so I felt the fear and desperation firsthand, but it arouses the same feeling of “Why?” Such beautiful and unique cities with rich histories, to have such bad luck befall them.

The land of Anne Rice (although I believe now she’s quite the Christian and not into writing about vampires anymore, what a shame), Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, beignets and cafe au lait, jazz and ghosts and voodoo will forever hold a special mystique for me. All that stuff is right up my alley. Me and Jay loved the movie ‘The Skeleton Key’ and I adore that big ol’ plantation house Kate Hudson’s character lived in with the older couple, right on the bayou with that amazing garden. Despite being a bonafide northerner and a big city girl at heart, I could dig living in a house like that. Despite all the hurricane damage, and the issues they’ve had in the past 3 years, I still would love to go to New Orleans, maybe someday I will.

But this blog isn’t about travel or movies or voodoo… its about food. So lets get down to it. I saw Paula Deen, aka one of my favorite people to watch on TV (mainly because she’s downright hilarious, she lights oven mitts on fire and forgets to put the tops on blenders, but also because her recipes are really good), make one-pot shrimp creole last week and I knew I needed to make it. Now, purists will argue that its not “real” shrimp creole, blah blah blah. I’m a New York girl; I like authenticity but you know what?  I’ve got a busy life, I like easy too. And this is easy. I love shrimp, I love hot stuff, and I love easy meals. What is there for me not to like about this?! Besides, Hurricane Hanna was on a path right to us tonight, bringing with her 60mph winds and heavy rain accumulating up to 4″… so whats a better snuggly comfort food than something involving one pot and a lotta food?

Really, how freakin’ good does that look?!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced green bell peppers
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (14-ounces) can tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Green onions, for garnish


  1. In fry pan, heat olive oil. Add peppers, onions and celery. Cook until softened.
  2. Add chili powder and saute until caramelized. Remove from heat and pour into crock pot, or large pot. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire, white sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 hours in crock pot, or 20-25 minutes in large pot. Mix cornstarch in cold water.
  3. Add shrimp and cornstarch mixture to tomato mixture and cook for about 3 minutes or until bubbly. Then cook for an additional 2 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.
  4. Serve over white rice, with a pat of butter in between the rice and the creole if desired.
  5. Top with chopped green onions.

Okay so, I didn’t make this in a crock pot. I just used a regular big ass pot…. so it did NOT take 3 hours. It was more like 30-45 minutes. If you have a crock pot handy and want to use it, then go you. Also, it doesn’t tell you how much rice to make, so thats on you, depending on how many people you’re feeding, etc. I omitted the celery because nobody here likes it and I doubt you’d miss it anyway, but if you’ve got it and you like it then by all means. I used one pound of shrimp and it fed three people just fine. If you’d like more shrimp or less, then you can adjust accordingly. I could’ve used a bit more shrimp myself, but I like big portions. I didn’t feel like going out and buying green onions just as a garnish so I didn’t use them either. I actually did a combo of two recipes, the Paula Deen one and one from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. It was mainly the Paula recipe but since I didn’t use a crock pot I lifted some ideas from the other recipe. The recipe I wrote here is the mix of the two recipes I used. If you want the original Paula Deen crock pot recipe, go here.

I really thought this was amazing. It could’ve been a tad hotter for me, but like I’ve mentioned before, I have a thing for all foods that burn your taste buds out and make you run for the water glasses. But this was a hit. I’ve made another Paula Deen shrimp-related recipe and it was also a big hit, so she’s off the shitlist for the lousy red velvet cupcakes I made last year which I explained further in my post about Magnolia’s red velvet cupcakes.

So basically it was delicious and filling and the perfect meal for a night like tonight. Jay’s off seeing his friends in Suffocation play at the Nokia Theatre and I think hes insane because its crazy weather out there… but boys will be boys. I’d much rather be here, eating shrimp creole in my pajamas, not getting windblown and soaked. To each his own!

But he really has no idea what he missed out on. 🙂

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