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low-fat, healthy heart, low fat mexican food recipes

Cajun Shrimp Recipes

Louisiana cooking means one thing to most people ...

Cajun shrimp recipes!

Spicy and delicious, these dishes arouse all your senses:

  • Your mouth waters
  • Your nose twitches
  • Your eyes twinkle
  • You start hearing Jazz music

Maybe your lips even burn a little!

Put some Louis Armstrong or Zydeco music on, grab some fresh baguettes from your local bakery, and head into the kitchen.  These Cajun shrimp recipes will put you in that "Big Easy" mood in no time.

Cajun Shrimp Recipes  

Shrimp Creole
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Recipe


This recipe was originally published in my free monthly e-Zine, The Whole Enchilada.  Subscribe now for lots more mouth-watering recipes and free access to the complete archives. 




        3-1/2  lbs       shrimp, with shells and heads

        2-1/2  cups    seafood stock, made with heads and shells

           1/4  cup     chicken fat

                            (may substitute beef fat or vegetable oil)

        2-1/2  cups    onions, finely chopped

        1-3/4  cups    celery, finely chopped


        1-1/2            green (bell) peppers, finely chopped

              4  Tbsp    unsalted butter

              2  tsp      garlic, minced

              1            bay leaf

        2-1/2  Tbsp    Creole seasoning


        1-1/2  tsp      Tabasco sauce

              3  cups    tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped

        1-1/2  cups    tomato sauce

              2  tsp      sugar

              5  cups    hot cooked rice




Rinse, shell and de-vein shrimp, make stock from heads and shells (see below).


Heat fat in 4 qt sauce pan over high heat.  Add 1 cup onions and cook over high heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions caramelize, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir frequently.


Add the remaining onions, celery, peppers and 2 Tbsp butter.  Cook over high heat until celery and peppers start to get tender, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic, bay leaf and Creole seasoning; stir well. 


Add Tabasco sauce and 1/2 cup of stock.  Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes to blend seasoning and for the vegetables to finish browning, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pan well.


Add tomato and reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and scrapping bottom of pan.  Stir in tomato sauce and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 


Add remaining stock and the sugar, simmer another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the shrimp and cook just until pink and plump, for about 3 to 4 minutes.


To serve, spoon about 1 cup sauce over 1/2 cup rice on serving plates.


Seafood Stock



10 to 12  cups   shrimp, crawfish or crab shells *

         2   qts    cold water (enough to cover shells)


*  You may substitute 1-1/2 to 2 lbs  fish carcasses (heads and gills removed) for the shells.




Place shells in stockpot or heavy sauce pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer about 30 minutes.  Strain and cool.

 Shrimp Etouffee

The word “etouffee” in Cajun recipes basically means "smothered" and in this recipe, it means to be smothered by a sauce. 


Not just any sauce ... a traditional Cajun roux, a thick brown flour-based sauce that is the secret to many Cajun recipes.




1 lb shrimp, peeled


4 teaspoons Louisiana Hot Sauce

1 small Bell pepper, diced

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup flour

1 medium onion, chopped


2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

     (do not substitute canned tomatoes)

1 cup fish stock or clam juice


1/2 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1 bay leaf

black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 cup chopped scallions, including the greens






Heat oil in a heavy skillet until hot.  Gradually stir in the flour and stir constantly until the mixture turns brown.  Be very careful you don't burn the roux.  Cook roux until it turns "peanut butter brown" or darker.


See notes below for tips on making roux.


I can’t emphasize too strongly that you must constantly stir the roux or it will burn.


Saute the onions, garlic, celery, and Bell pepper in the roux for five minutes.


Add the tomatoes, stock, basil, thyme, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer for fifteen minutes or until it thickens to a sauce.


Add the hot sauce, shrimp, and scallions and simmer for an additional five minutes or until the shrimp are cooked.  Remove the bay leaf and serve.


Serving Suggestion:  Serve with celery seed coleslaw, green beans, and corn bread.


Variations:  Use crayfish or lobster meat in place of the shrimp.



Tips on Making Roux


Making the roux can be tricky the first few times you do it.  Follow these tips and you’ll be making roux like a Ragin’ Cajun in no time!


·        Be certain you stir the roux constantly ... continuously ... without end ... do not stop … Really!!


... or it will burn!


·        Cook roux until it turns "peanut butter brown" or darker.


·        If you see dark flecks forming in the roux, it’s burnt.  Please don’t think, “Oh, it’s not too much, I can spoon those flecks out.”


·        Burnt is burnt … and it only takes a little to ruin the whole pot.


·        If you burn your roux, it is best to throw it out and start over. 


·        Cook with this motto:  "You can never stir the roux too much."

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