Shrimp Creole (Camarones Enchilados)

Renee Comet (arranged by Bonnie Benwick)

As featured in episode 611.

This is an easy and terrific dish that blends a little Cuban with Creole tradition.

You’ll have twice as much stock as you need for this recipe; freeze the leftovers, and your creole will be that much faster to assemble the next time.

Make Ahead: The stock can be made and refrigerated up to 5 days in advance or frozen for up to 1 month. The creole can be made 1 or 2 days in advance.


The stock

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • About 1 pound shrimp shells (from 2 pounds 21-­25 count shrimp) [Ed. note: Save the peeled shrimp for use in the creole below.]
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut in half
  • 1 rib celery, cut into several pieces
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 cups water

The creole

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds 21-25 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Two 15­-ounce cans tomato sauce or puree
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


For the stock: Heat the canola oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the shells and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells turn orange.

Add the bay leaf, onion, celery, peppercorns and water; increase the heat to medium-­high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the liquid has reduced to 4 cups. Strain into a large liquid cup measure, discarding the solids.

For the creole: Heat the oil in the same (now empty) pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the shrimp. Cook, stirring, for about 6 minutes or just until the shrimp are mostly pink but not all opaque. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Stir the onion into the pot; cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in the green bell pepper and garlic; cook for about 3 minutes or until softened and fragrant. Add the bay leaves and wine; cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce/puree, 2 cups of the shrimp stock, the salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper. Cook uncovered for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken and reduce slightly.

Reduce the heat to medium-low; return the shrimp and any collected juices to the pot, stirring to coat evenly. Cook for about 10 minutes or just until the shrimp are evenly opaque and cooked through. Discard the bay leaves, if desired.

Serve over rice.

Reprinted with permission from The Washington Post. Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick. From David Guas, chef-owner of Bayou Bakery in Arlington and on Capitol Hill.

Serves 6

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