Shrimp Creole

I’m back from vacation, but there’s so much to catch up on that I don’t have much time for cooking.  Tonight I invited my dog sitters over for dinner as a thank you for keeping the beastie over Thanksgiving week.  She’s a dream of a dog, but still it’s a lot to take on someone else’s dog for a week.  Sadly there was no time to  do anything elaborate.  I needed something good and warm and easy and quick.  I served these ladies pasta the last time I had them over so that was out.  My other go to one dish meal is risotto, but that takes a while so that was out.  The thought of risotto led me to think about rice dishes. I had a jar of homemade creole sauce in the basement.  Add some shrimp, rice and a side salad and dinner is on!

So here’s where all that work from the summer garden really pays off.  Two summers ago I canned a few jars of creole sauce using the recipe from the Ball canning  book.  It has tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, oregano, hot sauce, Worchestershire and cayenne in it.  It’s good stuff.  A little heat in the back of the throat, but nothing overwhelming.  I only had 1 jar so I needed to stretch it a little.  I added an 8 ounce jar of the plain tomato sauce I canned past summer and about a tablespoon of my Creole spice mix to keep the tomato sauce from diluting the creole sauce.  Things are looking good for dinner with the neighbors.

I wanted to add something fresh to the creole sauce just to punch up the texture a little bit so I chopped and sauteed some celery and onions to add in.  I decided to saute the shrimp to add just a touch of char to each side before I added them to the sauce to finish cooking them through.  It just takes a few minutes.  You don’t want to overcook them or they’ll be rubbery.  Serve over some rice and your main dish is done.

I made a quick green salad using a box of baby greens from Kroger, some crumbled goat cheese and a few grape tomatoes.  I went to the fridge to retireve the salad dressing selection and was reminded, as I still am from time to time, that there was a hurricane that caused a power outage that caused me to discard everything in the fridge.  Many of those things, including salad dressing, I haven’t replaced yet.  Time to mix up a little so we can eat dinner already.  Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, dried tarragon and good olive oil.  Mix everything but the oil, add the oil in a slight but steady stream whipping constantly.  Dressing done.  And it was good too!

So, not much in the way of recipes tonight.  Mostly this is to let you know that it doesn’t have to be a big deal to have friends and neighbors over for dinner.  Having the time to catch up was the important part.  The food was an added bonus.  But it’s always nice to be able to call the food a bonus!

Good? Yep.  Warm and yummy.
Easy? Rice, a jar of sauce and some shrimp. Doesn’t get much easier.
Good for company? My company really liked it.
Special shopping? Nope.

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