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Shrimp Creole with okra, for two

last month
last modified: last month

A few days ago I went to Cárdenas and found some large (13/15 per pound) frozen shrimp - deveined and heads removed, but not peeled - and so I bought a two pound bag, not knowing how I would cook them. I also bought some red bell peppers (which were a bit small) and some very large jalapeños - which I can always find uses for.

Then, a couple of days later we went to a new Indian grocery in Cathedral City that Kevin had found out about, because we were out of rice, and I wanted to buy a large bag. They have 10 pound bags of extra long grain Basmati rice, and so I bought one, although in L.A. I generally buy a 20 or 25 pound bag, but 10 pounds was the largest this store has. I thought it was a bit expensive at $18 for 10 pounds, but that still seemed reasonable enough. Shorter grain rice was cheaper, but that's not what I wanted. They also had frozen okra, and so I bought a one pound bag of that, so that I could have it with the shrimp and rice.

At first I was going to make tempura with the frozen shrimp, but since I found the okra, I decided to make Shrimp Creole instead, which I had not made in quite a while, but I still had it in my mind how I wanted to make it.

It came out really good, and so I wanted to record the recipe here in case someone else might want to make it and also to remind myself.

To make two + servings I used

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup minced celery (actually I forgot to use this, although I meant to)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green jalapeño, seeds removed, but membranes kept, minced
  • 1/2 cup long grain Basmati rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3-4 ounces defrosted okra (can use fresh instead)
  • 2/3 cup water, more if needed
  • 2 tsp Knorr granulated chicken with tomato bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 10 oz defrosted shrimp, shelled and cut into three equal pieces each

I defrosted the okra and shrimp separately in bowls of cold water for 5 minutes and then drained them.

I used a large non-stick skillet (10" diameter, I think) to sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes, and then I added the bell pepper and jalapeño and sautéed that together for 2-3 minutes more. Then I added the rice and a bit more oil (if needed) and sautéed that until the rice started to change color slightly, at which point I added the garlic and stirred to combine.

Then I added the okra and mixed that in, to make sure it was defrosted and added the water, which I had heated with the bouillon.

I used chicken and tomato bouillon because I wanted a slight tomato flavor, but I did not want to add tomatoes, as those compete with the red bell pepper for flavor, and I want the flavor of the peppers to be more dominant.

I brought this to a boil, added the thyme, and then reduced the heat to a low simmer and added the shrimp pieces, making sure to submerge them completely. When this came back to a low simmer, I covered the pan and let it cook on very low heat for 15 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and let the pan rest for 5 minutes before stirring everything together.

At this point, the shrimp was done without being overcooked, and this is how I served it, in bowls.

Because I cooked this all in one skillet, I would not want to increase this recipe because I would need to use a different pan. That might work, but I haven't tried it yet.

There was a tiny bit leftover after the two servings, and so I think this could be increased to make three serving by increasing the shrimp to 12-14 ounces, and use 2/3 cup rice.

The water might need to be increased when the rice is increased, and the oil would need to be increased if a non-stick pan is not used.

I used a large green jalapeño instead of green bell pepper and hot chili, and this is why I kept the membrane, as I wanted the heat. The white pith/membrane has the most heat in the pepper, and the seeds have no flavor and no heat, once the membrane is removed, but they are also tough and mess up the texture of the dish, and so I make a point to remove them.

If I wanted to make four servings, I would cook the rice separately and serve everything else on top. However, I like it combined, and this seems easier to me.

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