My Fat Tuesday began at The Alcove, a great wine bar in Uptown. That's Luiz!
It was then off to The Free Man in Deep Ellum, joining the crowd already elbows deep at the bar. Fried Pickles were shared followed by some seriously Blackened Shrimp.
Dave Washburn's Three Quarters Fast band played all night and if you missed Mardi Gras, they'll be back on Saturday.
I met a lot of nice people.
We're keeping the New Orleans vibe going here at 3906; a large pan of Shrimp Creole will simmer until I've had my fill and it's time to move on to Valentine's Day. Here's an easy version of the dish. I hope your good times roll...
1 pound fresh Gulf shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
6 cloves minced garlic
2 twenty-eight ounce cans Italian whole, peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
2 cups shrimp stock (made with the shrimp for this recipe)
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 bay leaves
dried red pepper flakes or hot sauce (optional)
Peel and devein the shrimp. Place the shells and the tails in 3 cups of water and bring to a bowl. Reduce the heat and simmer while you prepare the vegetables.
In a large sauté pan, cook the onion, pepper and celery until they are soft.
Crush the tomatoes by hand and set aside with the juice from the cans.
Strain the shrimp stock and set aside.
Add the garlic to the vegetables and cook it for just a minute.
Add the tomatoes and their juice, 2 cups of stock, Creole seasoning, and bay leaves. Simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, adding tomato paste if you prefer a thicker sauce. Add stock as it cooks if you prefer a thinner sauce.
Before serving, add the shrimp and cook only until they turn pink.
Serve with steaming cooked rice or chunks of baguette.