Charlotte Cooks Wins a Telly Award!

We won a Telly Award for our Shrimp Creole show!

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While I can’t post the video yet, here is the recipe for the dish. I hope they release the video soon on You Tube. I think it is circulating now on the channel so I’m guessing when they air a new show this one will become available. When it does, I’ll update this post to include the video.

Until then, enjoy making this recipe which also features Raw Kale Salad.

Creole inspired by NOLA cuisine.

NOLA Style Shrimp Creole

  • 2 pounds Peeled and De-veined Shrimp, save shells to make Shrimp Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons All- purpose flour
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small Green Pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 2-1/2 Cups Very Ripe Fresh Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cups Shrimp Stock
  • 2 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1 bunch Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoon Tabasco or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onions, green tops thinly sliced, white part sliced into 1/4″ thickness
  • 2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, minced

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan with the vegetable oil over medium high heat.

Add the flour and stir so it looks like wet sand on the beach.

When the butter begins to froth add 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook until the onions are golden brown.

Add the remaining onions, celery, and bell pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium and season with 1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning and a healthy pinch of salt.

Sweat the vegetables until soft.

Add the tomato paste mixing well, and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, add the fresh tomatoes. Stir well.

When the tomatoes start to break down into liquid add the white wine, bring to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes.

Add the Shrimp Stock, remaining Creole seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne (to taste), and thyme.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer.

Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, and adjust seasonings.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp.

The key is to not  to over cook your shrimp. Let them slowly simmer in the sauce until just cooked through.

If you boil them, they get tough so just simmer gently. They cook quickly!

Serve with boiled rice and garnish with the remaining green onions and parsley.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

I hope you join us in WTVI-PBS Charlotte Thursday evenings at 8:30 to see our new shows.

As always, thanks for watching Charlotte Cooks!

Shrimp and Lobster Bisque

Christmas Eve dinner somehow has become a seafood feast that features ravioli. This year Tyler asked me to make the Shrimp and Lobster Bisque like we used to make in the restaurant. It takes a bit of effort but it sure is an indulgent soup!

Perfect for a special dinner.

So here goes.

Make Shrimp and Lobster Stock

Shrimp and lobster1# fresh wild-caught shrimp, any size (I used 26-30’s for this recipe)

1- 2 ounce lobster tail per person + 1

You can use a whole lobster and use the claws for decoration or you can use frozen lobster meat. Tails were on sale at the grocery so I bought some. Perfect!

1#  thickly sliced carrots

1/2 pound chopped celery

1/2 pound chopped onions

1/4 cup  tomato paste

Sprig of fresh thyme

3 cloves fresh garlic, smashed

1/4 cup brandy, flambeed to remove alcohol

1 gallon water

1 pint heavy cream (later, to finish)

Remove the shells and tails from the shrimp, reserve the shells and tails for making the stock.

Set shrimp aside, keep it cold.

Remove the tail meat from the lobster, run a skewer down the underside of the tail to keep it from curling while cooking. Keep the tails cold.Insert a skewer to prevent curling

Roughly chop the shells with your knife. put the chopped shells and shrimp shells into a 2 gallon stock pot.

Over high heat, saute the shells until they turn red and pink.

Add the chopped carrots, onions, celery, thyme and garlic to the pot and saute the vegetables until they soften a bit.

Saute the shells and vegetables

Saute the shells and vegetables until they turn pink.

Add the tomato paste and stir to coat everything as much as you can with the paste.

Do not allow this to burn. Once you see a bit of color forming on the bottom of the pan, add the 1/4 cup brandy. Since you are working in a stock pot, you will have to ignite the brandy fumes with an extension lighter. Just place the flame over the edge of the pot to ignite the brandy. Let the fire burn until it extinguishes. This burns out the raw alcohol.

Flambe with Brandy

Flambe with Brandy

When the flames go out, stir and then add 1 gallon cold water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow this to simmer for at least 1 hour, 2-3 hours is best.

Do not cover the pot, do not boil the pot and do not stir. Doing any of these things will make your stock cloudy.

Strain, reserving the liquid, throw away all of the vegetables and shells. Use a fine screen strainer to ensure all shell fragments are removed from the finished stock.

Cool and reserve for making the bisque.

To Make the Bisque:

Reserve a few shrimp whole for garnish. Roughly chop the remaining shrimp. Season with salt and white pepper.

Season the skewered lobster tails. Trim the bamboo skewers used to keep the lobster straight so they fit into the saute pan.

Saute the tails and shrimp in a small bit of olive oil. Deglaze the pan with the brandy, allow to flambe to cook out the alcohol.

Saute and deglaze the lobster  and shrimp with brandy before adding to the bisque.

Saute and deglaze the lobster and shrimp with brandy before adding to the bisque.

Perfect consistency is when the soup coats the back of a spoon and it stays separated when you draw a line through it with your finger.

Perfect consistency is when the soup coats the back of a spoon and it stays separated when you draw a line through it with your finger.

Mound a bit of the cooked seafood in the bottom of the serving bowl; pour the hot soup over the shrimp and lobster.

Mound a bit of the cooked seafood in the bottom of the serving bowl; pour the hot soup over the shrimp and lobster.

Garnish with sour cream and chives or scallions.

Garnish with sour cream and chives or scallions.

Bring the stock to a boil and add the heavy cream simmer until the consistency coats the back of a spoon. This may take 30-40 minutes, depending on how fast you simmer.

Alternatively, you could use 4-6 ounces of roux to thicken and simmer the stock and cream for 15-20 minutes to cook out the flour taste. I prefer to use the reduction method for better flavor and less fat and flour in the final dish. Using roux is the classic method.

When the stock and cream are at the consistency you desire, add the flambeed shrimp to the soup.

Remove the skewer from the tails and slice each tail into nice neat disks.

Place 3-5 disks of lobster  in the center of the soup bowl and ladle the hot broth over the lobster.

Garnish with a small dollop of sour cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Saute the

Stuffed Shrimp

Stuffed shrimp are so easy to make and are considered a quick and easy meal. While scallops are the original fast food, these don’t fall far behind.

Use the largest shrimp you can afford. I prefer wild caught shrimp. What I have read about farm raised shrimp has me not eating shrimp for the most part. The process of farm raising shrimp is disgusting. I wouldn’t eat them for anything.

Wild caught are another story.

You need to know where the shrimp were caught. Additionally, you need be reasonably environmentally aware of what is going on the in the world so you can make your own decisions as to whether or not you want to eat fish from questionable areas.

I still don’t trust seafood from the Gulf of Mexico or BP for that matter. I do not think the full truth has been disclosed about the Gulf disaster.

Anyway, back to the shrimp.

These are wild caught 16/20 white shrimp from eastern coast of Florida. We have a wonderful fish market in town called Clean Catch Fish Market. They procure only the best seafood from around the world. The prices reflect it too, but so well worth the cost. When I decided to write about stuffed shrimp, I needed the best shrimp I could find. There was only one place to go, Clean Catch.

When buying shrimp, the numbers like 16/20 indicate how many of them are in a pound. 16/20 means there are between 16 and 20 in a pound. The smaller the number, the larger the shrimp.

When you see a size like U-10 or U-15 it means Under 10 per pound or Under 15 per pound which means you are going to get a really big shrimp, almost lobster tail size.

Note: Larger shrimp are easier to peel. If you are so inclined, save the shells for making shrimp stock. Freeze them until you have enough to run a batch.

Smell the shrimp. They should smell like the fresh ocean, not ammonia, iodine or dead fish.

Because only two of us were eating, I got 8 shrimp. No need to buy a full pound.

For this dish, you will peel and devein and butterfly the shrimp. You will leave the first tail section and the tail on for presentation.

Don't cut all the way through, just so it can lay flatInsert your sharp paring knife into the top portion of the shrimp and open the shrimp all the way to the first tail section. This makes shell removal simple, also opens the shrimp so you can remove the intestinal track. (Yup, that’s what that black line is along the back.) Cut deep so you can lay the shrimp flat, also known as “butterfly” the shrimp. Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Rinse under clear cold water. Label and freeze shells for later use.

Make the stuffing. Form into small balls that fit on the back of the shrimp. Fold the tail over the stuffing and spread or fan the tail out so it looks nice.

Place the shrimp on a baking sheet and bake in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink.

Remove from the oven and serve with Lemon Orange Horseradish Sauce and a nice salad on the side.

Stuffing for Stuffed Shrimp

This makes a generous amount. Freeze any left over so you can make stuffed shrimp again soon! Or use the stuffing in another seafood or  in mushrooms or quail.

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced sweet onion or shallot
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced, from the white tip to the green end, use it all
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • Zest and juice from one lemon (the zest is a major flavor contributor, don’t leave it out)
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese – optional

Mix everything in a bowl. The mixture should hold together when you squeeze it.

Make small balls of the stuffing mix and place a ball on the back of the shrimp and fold the tail over. Fan the tail.

Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until the shrimp are pink.

Lemon Orange Horseradish Sauce

Super simple and versatile. This sauce goes well with these shrimp, coconut shrimp and spring rolls.

1/4 cup orange marmalade

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon horseradish (more or less depending upon desired heat)

Melt over low heat, whisk to incorporate. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. If it gets too gloppy, add a small amount of water.

Spoon the sauce around the shrimp on the plate and serve.