3 1/2 lb. Lg shrimp w/heads and shells
2 1/2 cups basic shrimp stock
1/4 cup chicken fat, pork or beef fat
2 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 3/4 chopped celery
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green bell peppers
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
3 cups finely chopped peeled tomatoes (preferably creole)
1 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce
2 tsp sugar
5 cups hot basic cooked rice
How to prepare
Rinse and peel shrimp; refrigerate until needed. Use heads and shells to make the basic shrimp stock.
Heat the chicken or other fat over high heat in a 4-quart saucepan until melted. Add 1 cup of the onions and cook over high heat 3 min., Stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until onions are a rich brown color but not burned, about 3 to 5 min. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups onions, celery, bell peppers and butter. Cook over high heat until the bell peppers and celery start to get tender, about 5 min., Stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, bay leaf, salt and peppers; stir well. Then add the tabasco, thyme, basil and 1/2 cup of the stock. Cook over med heat about 5 min. To allow seasonings to marry and vegetables to brown further, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom well. Add the tomatoes; turn heat to low and simmer 10 min., Stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom. Stir in the tomato sauce and simmer 5 min., Stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 2 cups stock and the sugar. Continue simmering sauce for 15 min., Stirring occasionally.
Cool and refrigerate if made the day before. Or, if serving immediately, turn heat off and add the shrimp; cover the pot and let sit just until shrimp and plump and pink, about 5 to 10 min. Meanwhile, heat the serving plates in a 250 oven. Serve immediately.
To serve, center 1/2 cup mounded rice on each heated serving plate; spoon 1 cup shrimp creole sauce around the rice and arrange 8 or 9 shrimp on the sauce.