This flavorful Creole-inspired dish fills you up but won't weigh you down. I like to think of it as a speedy alternative to gumbo. Like gumbo, the dish starts with a dark roux, and includes the combination of onion, celery and bell pepper that is a hallmark of Creole and Cajun cooking. Tomatoes and shrimp, Louisiana favorites, round out the dish, as well as a quick seasoning mix of classic spices. It's best served over rice to soak up the fabulous sauce.
For the Creole seasoning: In a small bowl, combine the thyme, paprika, black pepper, oregano, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt, white pepper and cayenne, if using, Set aside.
For the shrimp: Put the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, make a roux by whisking in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the roux turns deep brown and has a nutty aroma, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir the bell pepper, celery, onion and garlic into the roux and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in all but 1 teaspoon of the Creole Seasoning and cook for about 1 minute before adding the stock, tomato and bay leaf. Stir well and make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and the flavors blend, 8 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining 1 teaspoon of Creole Seasoning. Stir the shrimp into the sauce and cook until they are pink and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the hot sauce. Taste and add more salt if desired. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve over rice.