In late Spring and early Summer, we enjoy the opening of inshore shrimp season along the Gulf coast, as well as the appearance of Creole tomatoes in our local markets. The addition of pesto to the rice in this dish adds the flavor of another warm weather favorite, sweet basil, which is the perfect complement to both shrimp and tomatoes.
- Step 1 – Heat the olive oil in a pot over high heat. Add the bell peppers, celery, onions, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become soft and clear.
- Step 2 – Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the sweet basil, oregano, thyme, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Step 3 – Add the diced tomatoes and sugar. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes.
- Step 4 – Add the Blue Runner® Shrimp Creole Base and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and return the mixture to a boil. Cook just until the shrimp are done, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Step 5 – Serve over Pesto Rice.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced green bell peppers
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 ½ cups diced yellow onions
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried whole-leaf sweet basil
- ½ teaspoon dried whole-leaf oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried whole-leaf thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 large Creole tomatoes, peeled and diced (or 2 cups canned whole tomatoes, diced)
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 25-ounce can Blue Runner® Shrimp Creole Base
- 3 cups peeled medium-sized shrimp
CULINARY MATH: 3 lbs. fresh, head-on shrimp = 3 cups peeled shrimp.
CHEF’S TIP: To peel fresh tomatoes, cut out the core from the stem end of the tomato. Cut a small cross into the top of the tomato. Drop in boiling water and cook until the skin begins to peel away from the tomato. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and cool thoroughly. Remove the outer skin. Slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and excess juice. Dice into ½-inch pieces and you are ready to cook.