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February 21, 2014

BBQ MY WAY: Classic and delicious shrimp creole

— As we look forward (and longingly) toward the spring, we decided to fix something that is fresh, spicy and delicious. Nothing fits that bill better then shrimp creole.

Shrimp creole originated in Southern Louisiana and has French, native American and Spanish influences. The authentic recipe uses a roux (fat and flour) to create a thicker stew-like broth, but we opted to keep it light in this recipe.

In my opinion there are three turning points in this dish that can either result in a great dish, or a less than great dish. First, splurge a little and buy larger shrimp. 15 count or so is perfect. Second, do not overcook the shrimp. Once they turn pink, they are done. And third, you want the vegetables to still have a slight amount of crunch. Overcook the veggies (the trinity in this case) and you have more of a soup on rice.

The use of the “trinity” (onion, celery and bell pepper) is the foundation of authentic Cajun cooking. We add red bell pepper as well for the look and the sweetness. The “creole” means it is tomato based.

We use brown basmati rice in this dish. It is little heartier with a slightly nutty flavor, and a bit more healthy than the normal white rice. This creole dish will serve four to six people. We posted a video of Liz making the dish as YouTube.com/BBQMyWay.

Here’s the recipe:

1 1/2 lb. 15-count shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 yellow onion — chopped

1/2 green bell pepper — chopped

2 stalks of celery — chopped

1/2 red pepper — chopped

2 cloves of garlic — chopped

2 bay leaves

1 15 oz. can of tomatoes

1/2 cups of water

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want it spicier)

A few dashes of hot sauce (depend on how hot you like it)

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbs. of Worcestershire sauce

3 Tbs. butter

1 Tbs. olive oil

Brown basmati rice — prepared according to the directions. Enough for four to six servings. Have the rice ready before you start on the dish.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the oil. Now add the chopped vegetables (other than the garlic) to the skillet and sauté’ for four minutes or so. Now add the garlic and sauté’ for another minute or two. Next, add the tomatoes, dry spices, bay leaves, salt, pepper and

Worcestershire sauce. Allow to simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Now, add the water and the hot sauce.

Stir in. Now add the raw shrimp and cook until pink. 3 to 4 minutes at the most. Remove the bay leaves. Serve over the cooked rice with hot sauce on the side.

Enjoy!

— Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. He is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. Liz is his wife. You can contact Dave with your BBQ, grilling or questions at BBQ-My-Way.com or at davelobeck@gmail.com

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