Shrimp Creole-Smothered Puppy Drum
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups finely chopped, peeled, seeded tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
- 2 cups cold shrimp stock or fish stock
- 6 (6-ounce) skinless puppy drum (small redfish) fillets
- 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 6 cups steamed long-grain white rice, as an accompaniment
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions, green tops only, garnish
To make the Creole Sauce: in a medium, heavy pot, heat the bacon grease over medium heat. Add the flour and stirring constantly with a heavy wooden spoon, cook until a light brown roux forms, about 6 minutes.
Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook over medium heat, until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, red pepper, and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to color, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, lemon zest, Worcestershire, and hot sauce, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens and reduces by 25 percent in volume, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the fish to the Creole sauce and cook until firm and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the shrimp and parsley, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through and pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
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