Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras!

Woot!  Mardi Gras is here!  It's my second favorite holiday in February.  This year, for the mardi gras feast, I made shrimp creole, Emeril's hot jalapeno crab dip, and world peace cookies.  (Someone else was responsible for the King Cake.  But, I found the baby, so I'll be bringing the king cake next year.)

So, start with 2 pounds of shrimps.  I like to peel them before I boil them.  I boil them in a broth of a sliced lemon, salt, and several peppercorns.  I boil them for exactly one minute and then pull them and spread them on a cookie sheet to cool them quickly.  (line the sheet with paper towels).

Then, throw the shells in the broth, boil a minute and turn off the heat.  Leave the shells in the broth until it cools.  Then, save a cup (or more if you want to freeze it) of the broth for the creole.

Next, prepare the trinity.  I had some left over yellow bell pepper . .  but about 1 small/medium bell pepper, 1 medium onion, and a couple ribs of celery chopped up.  Also, 2-3 largish cloves of garlic and a handful of parsley chopped.

Then, you want to fry up 4 slices of bacon, chopped up.  Get them crispy and remove them to a paper towel.  Add in a tablespoon or two of butter, and then saute the veg.

After you get the veg good and soft, add in a large can of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a tsp of thyme, a couple of bay leaves, 1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper, a tablespoon sugar, a tsp of salt  (I also put a little salt in the veg to get them to sweat.)  and the cup of shrimp broth and the bacon.  Let it simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.  If you are going to eat it right away, add the shrimps in and make sure they are heated through and serve with rice and garlic bread dripping with butter.  If not, cool the creole sauce and when you reheat it, add in the shrimps when everything is cold, and reheat gently.

I am sad to report that I failed to get a "money shot" picture.  I was so eager to eat and it looked/smelled so good, I totally forgot.  I think, if you make this, you'll understand.

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