When you grow up in New Orleans, you learn that there are foods that are practically religion. Rice has to be white. Beans are red and made on Monday. And there's the so-called holy trinity of onions, bell pepper and celery, the basis for etouffee, gumbo and jambalaya.
Shrimp Creole is usually a stew-type of dish made with canned tomatoes, generally in the winter. It's warm and homey and delicious. I wanted to capture the flavors, but make the dish with fresh ingredients--cherry and grape tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a light brothy sauce. This is a summer version of shrimp creole, one that is pretty enough for a dinner party, and quick and easy enough for a week night meal.
You'll notice that I didn't use celery. I don't like cooked celery, but feel free to add it for authenticity. —drbabs
tablespoons vegetable oil
bell pepper, minced
cloves garlic, minced
cup dry white wine
tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (more to taste)
teaspoon Tabasco sauce (more to taste)
sprigs fresh rosemary
sprigs fresh thyme
pound medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
pint cherry tomatoes (or mix of cherry and grape tomatoes), halved
In a large skillet, heat the oil over low heat till shimmering. Add scallions, bell pepper and garlic with a generous pinch of salt. Stir, cover, and let vegetables sweat till softened, about 5 minutes. (They shouldn't brown.)
Stir in white wine, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf. Stir, cover, and let flavors cook together for about 5 minutes.
Add in shrimp, stir, and continue to cook on low until shrimp are barely cooked through, about 5-7 minutes depending on size.
Fish out bay leaf, rosemary and thyme, and stir in tomato halves till they are cooked through, another minute or so. Stir in butter. Taste and adjust seasoning--add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco as desired.
To serve, mound rice on the plate, and scatter shrimp and tomatoes over the rice. Spoon a little sauce over the rice, and add a squeeze of lemon.