entree · keto · seafood

Shrimp & Catfish Creole

Today is my engagement-versary, if that’s a thing.

I can’t believe it has been 3 whole years since Rob and I got engaged…and nearly 2 years since we got married. It’s been a whirlwind these last few years. A crazy, wonderful whirlwind.

Since I’m thinking about our engagement, it’s made my mind wander to our honeymoon.

We went on a cruise to Mexico, but first drove down to the port: New Orleans. Louisiana is one of my most favorite places on Earth, and our brief day-and-a-half spent in NOLA was probably the best part of our entire trip.

The Cajun food just speaks to me down there. I had it all: po’ boys, etouffee, beans & rice, jambalaya, beignets, chicory coffee, boudain, shrimp omelettes, and a muffaletta. I had to pack as much Cajun eats into my trip as possible. While we were on Bourbon street, I even bought a Cajun cookbook to take a piece of NOLA back home with me.

I’ve grown up around Cajun food so I know how to make the basics. Roux, jambalaya and red beans & rice are like second nature to me. The one thing that popped out to me in this cookbook was the shrimp creole. It’s a Louisiana classic that I had heard of plenty times before, but never tried.

Creole cooking is typically improvisational. It was born of the need to use whatever you have on hand. Creole cuisine also typically doesn’t involve a roux, which is a bonus for amateur cooks. Sometimes making a good roux can be a pain-staking task.

Shrimp creole is basically a stew made of shrimp, the holy trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery) and a tomato sauce.

It’s utterly divine. You can let the sauce cook down and develop the flavors for as long as you want, but I went with a more quick-method and it still turned out to be delicious. Most Creole cooks don’t use broth in their shrimp creole, but I had to use a little bit to thin it out–the tomatoes & tomato paste really thicken this dish up!

To make this dish extra special I threw in some Creole-seasoned catfish. You can find Creole seasoning next to the cajun seasoning in most spice aisles at the grocery store—at least in the south you can. I’m not sure how attainable it is in places like, say, Montana. If not, just spice your catfish and shrimp with a blend of this:

  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

PS: Instead of the holy trinity, I went with the holy duo. I’m an adamant celery-hater, and can’t bring myself to use it in most recipes.

Enjoy!

Shrimp & Catfish Creole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

A thick, hearty stew made with Creole-spiced shrimp & catfish and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. catfish fillets
  • 1 lb. shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 3 TBS. Creole seasoning
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 (14 oz.) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 (7 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. red pepper
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Sliced green onions, hot sauce for serving
  • Cooked rice or cauliflower rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Season catfish fillets all over with 2 tablespoons of the Creole seasoning. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add catfish fillets and cook until they flake easily with a fork, but are still firm, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate to let cool. Chop into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, season shrimp with remaining Creole seasoning in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in same pot. Add bell pepper and onion and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until smooth. Pour in whole tomatoes, juices and all, and stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover and cook for 25-30 mintues. Stir in shrimp, red pepper and catfish and cover again, letting shrimp cook until pink, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve over rice/cauliflower rice and top with hot sauce and green onions.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Season catfish fillets all over with 2 tablespoons of the Creole seasoning.

Heat one tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add catfish fillets and cook until they flake easily with a fork, but are still firm, about 2 minutes per side.

Remove to a plate to let cool. Chop into bite-size pieces. Meanwhile, season shrimp with remaining Creole seasoning in a bowl. Set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in same pot. Add bell pepper and onion and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until smooth.

Pour in whole tomatoes, juices and all, and stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cover and cook for 25-30 mintues.

Stir in shrimp, red pepper and catfish and cover again, letting shrimp cook until pink, about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice/cauliflower rice and top with hot sauce and green onions.

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