From a simple fish fry to shellfish harvested from the Gulf, Texas’ bounty of seafood is one of the state’s great pleasures and a wonderful blank slate for applying layers of flavor. Chef Maggie Perkins, a food writer and former farmer, frequently uses Texas seafood in demos at farmers markets and in cooking classes. Perkins took inspiration from Texas’ coastal ingredients and combines them with her Creole roots for this approachable dish. It’s easy enough to prepare on a weeknight but still impressive should guests pop by. The key is to be patient in making the roux—cook it fully to achieve a beautiful, deep color.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup flour
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 small green or red bell pepper, chopped
2 large ribs celery, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cups shrimp stock
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooked rice, for serving
Hot pepper sauce, for serving
1. In a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in flour until incorporated fully. Whisk continuously until roux is the color of peanut butter, about 10 minutes.
2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic, mixing into roux. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir to combine well.
3. Increase heat to medium-high and slowly stir in the stock. Continue to stir until sauce is smooth and bubbling and has thickened. Stir in seasoning.
4. Bring to a low boil, stirring, then reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
5. Fold shrimp, parsley and green onion into sauce and cook until shrimp is opaque, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more Creole seasoning, salt and pepper as needed. Serve over rice with hot pepper sauce on the side.
In lieu of shrimp stock, use seafood stock, chicken stock, clam juice, water or any combination thereof.
Follow along with Megan Myers and her adventures in the kitchen at stetted.com.