48-ounce fillets of barramundi, cut into large 2 inch chunks
1 poundhead-on shrimp, cleaned
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoonsCreole seasoning
Salt, to taste
1 cupall-purpose flour
1 cupgrapeseed oil
2 mediumonions, diced
4-5 clovesgarlic, diced
3celery ribs, diced
1 mediumgreen bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoondried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 - 1/2 teaspooncayenne pepper, depending on heat preference
1/4 cuptomato paste
3/4 cupdry sherry
1 canwhole tomatoes
4 cupsseafood stock or water
Scallions, for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving
Get a cultural flavor rush you’ll crave like no other: Creole.
Creole Courtbouillon (Seafood Stew) may appear complicated at first glance, but this time-honored culinary tradition is a dish well worth the extra minutes and attention it’s due. “Don’t burn the roux!” is a phrase heard ’round the South—and whether you’re a fan of shrimp and grits or a Yankee notorious for burning biscuits, Creole Courtbouillon is a pleasure to create for those you love. In fact, this humble country-cousin-of-consummé is known as the base of many dishes in which protein is poached. Depending upon the region where one might be lucky enough to partake of this dish, it varies from “Courtbouillon” to “Court-bouillon” to “Court Bouillon.” Bottom line? The cultural influences which created Creole cuisine were right on the mark—as is the mouthwatering recipe, food styling, and photography by Jenny Huang of Saveur Award-Winning HelloMyDumpling.
Step 1Pat the fish dry and place on a plate, season all sides with salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning. In a bowl, season the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning.
Step 2Heat 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil in a large dutch oven. Over medium high heat, lightly brown the fish in one layer, skin side down first, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add a bit more oil if the pot looks dry and lightly brown the shrimp, 3-5 minutes more. Remove and set aside.
Step 3Add 3/4 cup oil to what is already in the pot, heat until a pinch of flour sizzles immediately when touching the oil. Gradually whisk in 1 cup flour. Turn down the heat to medium. Continue to whisk vigorously to make the roux. The oil will absorb the flour and gradually begin to darken. The roux burns easily so do not leave this unattended. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until it has darkened to a red brown color.
Step 4As soon as you reach this stage, add the diced onions, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Turn the stove back up to medium high, sautée the onions for minute or so. Add the celery and another 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sautée for another minute. Add the bell pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sautée again. The roux will continue to darken during this process. That’s all right. Do not be scared of the darkness!
Step 5Add 1 tablespoon creole seasoning, dried thyme, oregano, cayenne, and bay leaf. Mix and cook for another minute so. Push all the vegetables to one side of the pan, add the tomato paste to a part of the pan where it will have direct access to the hot pan. Stir with a wooden spoon, the heat will loosen up the concentrated paste and allow if to begin releasing its flavors. After a minute, mix it in with everything else in the pot. Pour in the sherry and cook for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol has cooked out. Next add the whole tomatoes along with any juice in the can. Use the back of a wooden spoon to gently break the tomatoes up a bit. Add the stock, if you are using, or water. Mix well, partially cover, and cook for 30-35 minutes for all the flavors to come together. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning.
Step 6Add the fish and cook until the fillets flake easily, 10-15 minutes. Grab the handles of the pot and gently swirl the pot so that all the fish gets cooked. Do not stir or the fish will break up. Add the shrimp in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve with white rice and scallions.
SHARE YOUR MEAL WITH US
Tag @thebetterfish on Instagram for a chance to win freebies!