- 1 lb shrimp; reserve heads and shells
- 4 cups water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 2/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1-1/2 cups chopped celery stalks
- 2 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomato meats, with juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar*; for fresh tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fine ground cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon bay, dried whole bay leaves
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Peel and devein the shrimp.
- Place heads, if you have them, and peels in a small saucepan and add the water and a teaspoon of oil. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat and let boil slowly for 15-20 minutes. Strain and discard the heads and peels, but reserve the shrimp stock.
- Place the oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot and place over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, peppers, and celery and slowly sauté, until the vegetables are translucent.
- Dip tomatoes in hot water for one minute to peel them. Seed them and chop the meats.
- Stir in the tomato meats, sugar*, salt, peppers, herbs and enough shrimp stock to cover.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Adjust the moisture by adding the tomato sauce. The tomatoes will create a varying amount of liquid, so adjustments of heat and/or liquid are required to prevent the sauce drying out or becoming watery. A good sauce is thick with the onions and peppers being soft but not mushy.
- To this Creole sauce add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp turns pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green onions and parsley and let cook for 1 minute more.
- Serve over rice.
- *Note: The sugar is not meant to sweeten the sauce but acts as a flavor enhancer in the fresh tomato portion of the sauce.