What makes Creole different from Cajun? Well…the spices and the heat. Creole is more influenced by its French and Spanish ancestors who settled in what is now Louisiana. Creole food is flavored with vegetables and herbs, and is not highly seasoned.
Cajun is an adapted word from Acadian; the French who settled in eastern Canada and migrated to Louisiana after the French and Indian Wars. Cajun food is also noted for its vegetables but it features more chili peppers and higher heat. Blackened foods that have become popular recently are based on Cajun food.
So much for history….one basic component to Creole food is the mirepoix [meer-a-pwah] (a combination of onion, green bell peppers and carrots). Garlic is another staple. This recipe uses onion, pepper and garlic….not the carrots. It takes little time to make.
- 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 c minced green pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- dash ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp. paprika
- 1/8 tsp. rosemary leaves, crushed
- 28 oz. can tomatoes
- 1/4 c flour
- 1-1/2 lbs. medium to large cooked shrimp
- 2 – 3 c cooked rice
Melt butter in a large skillet; add onion, green pepper and garlic. Sauté over low heat for 10 minutes until vegetables are just crisp tender. Add salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil.
Put flour in a small bowl or jar and add a soupspoon or two of the hot broth to dissolve flour. Mix well and add back to vegetable mixture and boil until thickened. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Add shrimp just long enough for shrimp to warm through (don’t let them cook more than 2-3 minutes or they’ll toughen). Serve over rice.