Louisiana cuisine falls into either the Cajun or Creole category. Cajun cuisine originated with the Acadians who adapted their rustic, French provincial cooking techniques to make use of regional ingredients. Creoles used the classical European cooking methods of the aristocracy to make more refined dishes. One commonality, however, is the use of the Holy Trinity: onions, green peppers and celery.
This sauce can be used as either a simmering sauce or a smothering sauce with your favourite meat or fish served over rice. Simmer shrimp, scallops, cubed chicken, beef, pork, or lamb in the sauce. Smother whole cooked chicken pieces, pork or lamb chops, or catfish fillets with the sauce.
Depending on the protein you choose and the way you’d like to serve the dish, you can prepare the meat first and then the sauce, or prepare both the protein and sauce at the same time. In either case, prepare hot cooked rice while you’re making the sauce. Read through…
Creole Sauce - serves 4-6
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) oil (grapeseed, canola or virgin olive oil, not extra virgin)
- 2 cups (454ml) chopped onions
- ½ cup (113ml) chopped celery
- ½ cup (113ml) chopped green bell pepper
- ½ Tbsp chopped garlic
- 1½ Tbsp Creole seasoning Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic (poultry, seafood, pork, meat, salt free) or The Epicentre’s Zydeco Dust (for a little kick)
- 1 can (28oz/796ml) diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 whole bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried oregano
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook for 10 - 12 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom occasionally, until vegetables are beginning to turn golden.
Add garlic and and Creole seasoning and continue to stir for a minute.
Add the canned tomatoes, scraping all browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Then stir in the brown sugar, bay leaf and oregano and bring the mixture to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat and let simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom frequently.
4 - 6 portions of protein of your choice:
- raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
- raw scallops
- cubed chicken breasts or thighs
- strips of beef round steak
- strips of pork
- cubed lamb
- bone-in skin-in chicken breasts, thighs or quarters
- pork chops
- pork loin roast
- lamb chops
- catfish fillets
- cooked rice
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
To use as a Simmering Sauce:
Shrimp: Toss the shrimp into the pot during the last step, just after the sauce has come to a boil. Cook until the shrimp is pink but not overdone.
Scallops: Sear scallops briefly in a pan with oil and toss into the sauce during the last step just after the mixture has come to a boil. Cook until the scallops are done but tender.
Pieces or Strips of Chicken, Pork. Beef or Lamb: dust lightly with flour, salt and pepper. Brown meat in oil over medium-high heat until golden on all sides. Set aside. Toss meat in with the Creole sauce just before bringing it to a boil. Simmer in the sauce until the meat is cooked.
Serve over cooked rice. Garnish with fresh parsley & Louisiana hot sauce on the side.
To use as a Smothering Sauce:
Chicken Breasts, Thighs or Quarters, Pork or Lamb chops, Pork Loin, or Catfish Fillets:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Dust poultry, meat or seafood lightly with flour, salt & pepper. In an over-safe pan, heat oil over medium-high heat and brown the poultry, meat or fish until just golden brown on both sides. Transfer to the oven and cook until meat is done (use a meat thermometer for poultry & red meat). Remove from oven and allow to rest while the Creole Sauce finishes.
Place meat, poultry or fish on a bed of rice and smother with Creole Sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and Louisiana hot sauce on the side.
This versatile sauce is also great for making use of leftover cooked meat like chicken, pork or sausage. Consider other seafoods, as well, like crawfish, crab, mussels, clams and firm fish.