South Louisiana shrimp Creole has that certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that puts it in a class all by itself, y’all. Chunky red gravy, electrified by seasoned fresh Gulf shrimp and the caramelized Cajun trinity, yields rich, ultra-flavorful taste and texture that you wouldn’t expect from such humble ingredients. Paleo, low carb, grain free and keto sans rice, this naturally gluten free recipe is a spectacular dinner extravaganza. Yep and yay…
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Oh South Louisiana Shrimp Creole, You Just Have That Waaaayyyyy Down the Bayou Taste and Texture. Yep.
I grew up with a mom from Bayou Blue, Louisiana. So, I heard the phrases ‘down the bayou’ and ‘up the bayou,’ a whole, whole lot. Whenever my family gave directions, they used these terms to get you from where you were to where you were going.
Their roads literally run along bayous of water. So, you knew exactly which way to take if you knew which way was up or down the bayou. The charming part of all this is that these precious Cajun people say ‘down the bayou,’ and ‘up the bayou,’ with their insanely beautiful, almost crackling-at-the-end accents. As they’re talking to you, you not only get the information you need to get where you are going. But, you also get to experience a teeny, tiny bit of their culture and tradition that is, like all things Cajun to me, melodious music to my ears. Yep.
I was sitting down thinking of how to describe this south Louisiana shrimp Creole. And, all of a sudden memories of my family members drawling out their bayou directions came to mind. To my young ears, ‘down the bayou’ was always something close at hand. A direction you go to stay firmly within the bounds of ‘claimed’ Cajun territory. To the contrary, my itty bitty mind conceived ‘up the bayou’ to take you away to parts unknown. Or rather areas just outside the vicinity of what I knew to be ‘safe’ as a kid. And, truth be told, I was honestly scared of ‘up the bayou,’ y’all! And what that unknown, possibly uncultured place was all about…
Like many of my all time faves, this south Louisiana shrimp Creole definitely takes me safely back to waaaaayyyy ‘down the bayou’ territory y’all. But, what separates this Cajun/Creole dish from all others is its soul: The rich red gravy injects the deep, crimson color and velvety texture to the dish. The fresh shrimp that you add at the end release their seasoned juices throughout each and every spoonful. Slight hints of lemon and parsley lighten and brighten the finish, balancing the intense flavor bomb start to perfection. It all just comes together perfectly. Making you feel like its literally loving and hugging you from the inside out. Yep.
How to Make South Louisiana Shrimp Creole Take You Waaaayyyy ‘Down the Bayou’ From Wherever You Happen to Be Too, Y’all
To start this south Louisiana shrimp Creole, season the shrimp and set it aside. Then, brown the Cajun trinity of onion, green bell pepper and celery with a bit of minced garlic at the end. Pour the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and extra seasonings into the mixture. Cook down for a bit, then add the seasoned shrimp at the end. Simmer for just a few minutes longer, then let sit for the red gravy to thicken itself. Oh, and cook rice if you want to experience the gluten free shrimp Creole. Eat as is, or with cauliflower rice for the more versatile Paleo, keto, low carb or grain free experience.
Yep. That’s really it, y’all. I know that many of you who follow my blog are used to my low-and-slow south Louisiana labors of love. So, it might come as a major surprise to you that this shrimp Creole recipe really doesn’t take that long. Promise, you’ll spend just over one hour getting from your home kitchen to authentic, safe and sound ‘down the bayou’ south Louisiana flavor and texture territory.
Share with those whose palates are sharp enough to taste the pure, unadulterated love of culture in every bite of this south Louisiana shrimp Creole. And see y’all on the yum side…
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
For the Shrimp Seasoning
For the South Louisiana Shrimp Creole
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
- salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- rice or cauliflower rice for serving
- Season shrimp with the lemon zest, paprika, parsley flakes, hot sauce and onion powder. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery in the oil or butter in a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Stir the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, bay leaf, parsley flakes, paprika, hot sauce and SP&C to taste into the skillet.
- Reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce turns dark crimson.
- Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet. Cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until shrimp turn opaque and are well-incorporated into the Creole sauce.
- Rest for 10 minutes, or until the shrimp Creole gravy thickens. (See notes)
- Serve as is, or with rice or cauliflower rice.