Recipe: Shrimp Sauce Piquante

Published on: October 11th, 2019


Alligator Sauce Piquante at Jazz Fest

Sauce Piquante, with its distinct pepper flavor and heat, is a versatile component of many traditional Louisiana meat and fish dishes. Without too much looking, you can find versions featuring venison, snapping turtle, frog legs, quail, duck, and alligator (the latter available at Jazz Fest courtesy of Fireman Mike ). And then there are the more conventional versions, like chicken, redfish, and, as below, shrimp. 

You can adapt the recipe below for proteins other than shrimp. You'll need to adjust the simmer time upward, perhaps up to several hours, depending on what meat you use.
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped 
1 bunch green onions, chopped, tops reserved
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped fine 
3 large ribs of celery, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon or more cayenne
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
4 cups of shrimp stock, or substitute other stock or a mixture of stock and water
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus green onion tops reserved above

First you make a roux. Add oil and butter to pan over medium high heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly as the roux develops. 

When the roux reaches a medium brown color (similar to peanut butter or caramel), reduce heat to medium and add the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Stir frequently and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft, several minutes. 

Stir in the thyme, cayenne, chile powder, salt, and black pepper. Cook for a minute or two, then add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and about half of the stock/water. Stir thoroughly, then raise heat and bring to a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for about an hour. 

Add the remaining stock/water and lemon slices, raise heat and bring to a boil. Taste the sauce and add more salt and/or cayenne as needed. 

Add the shrimp and simmer until they're just done, up to 15 minutes depending on their size.

Remove from heat, stir in the chopped parsley and reserved green onion tops. Serve over rice. 

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