I have met so many great authors through Molly. For example, today's guest the lovely Patricia Stoltley. I was horrified to find she once had only 15 cookbooks, but since this recipe is so good I can see she is a creative chef as well as an author. Enjoy!-AA
Once upon a time I had about fifteen cookbooks and regularly tried new dishes, following the instructions religiously. Those days are gone. Even when I do search out a new meal or dessert, I make substitutions and alter the measurements to suit my taste. Sometimes I make notes for later reference, but I prefer to wing it. And that’s why I make Shrimp Creole like this:
Shrimp Creole My Way
Use a non-stick spray on the sides and bottom of a large frying pan or Dutch oven, depending on how much you plan to make. If I’m cooking for two, but want leftovers, I’d add three or four tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
Cook maybe a half cup of onions and about the same amount of green pepper until they look thoroughly sautéed. Add two 14 oz. or so cans of diced tomatoes (and I usually smush up the contents of one of those cans, sometimes using the blender and other times a hand potato masher).
Here’s where I add the good stuff. I throw in a little Herbes de Provence, a bay leaf, an extra dash of rosemary. In addition, I add roughly one teaspoon of chili powder, a pinch of cumin, and a sprinkle of curry powder. There’s a little overlap in those herbs and spices, which is why I start with small amounts.
Then I simmer the sauce as long as I feel like it, but at least thirty minutes.
Meanwhile, I quick-thaw the quantity of fully cooked shrimp I want to use and remove the tails (and any leftover shrimp parts that don’t look appetizing). Also prepare white or brown rice, depending on your preference.
Ten minutes before you’re ready to serve your meal, taste test the sauce and add however much more zip and zing you like. Add a little salt (or not). Throw in the shrimp and heat them through. If you simmer them any longer, they tend to get tough.
Serve rice on a plate or in a bowl and top with your steaming shrimp and sauce. It’s great with a salad or any yummy vegetable.
Needless to say, cooking is not Patricia Stoltey’s passion. She’d rather be at her computer, writing, blogging, and tweeting. Visit her blog at http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com . Patricia’s first Sylvia Thorn mystery, The Prairie Grass Murders, is now available in Kindle and Nook editions. The Desert Hedge Murders is available in hardcover from online booksellers and in paperback from Harlequin Worldwide’s online store.