original NYT article

Creole Capers

Craig Claiborne

May 11, 1969


Although creole cookery is historically a blend of French, Spanish and African cuisine, the most typical creole dishes, which use tomatoes and green peppers, tend more toward the last two.

Until a decade or so ago, green peppers were all but unknown in France. The shrimp creole on this page has been given an extra Spanish flavor with the addition of capers, not a common ingredient in Louisiana, where creole dishes originated.




  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 two‐pound‐three‐ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes
  • 9 tablespoons tomato paste (three‐quarters of a six‐ounce can)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or to taste
  • 3 small slices fresh lemon peel
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or one‐half teaspoon dried 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant, diced and skin left on
  • 11/2 pounds (about 36 medium size) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley.

1. Melt six tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet or casserole and add the onion, green pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.

2. Add the garlic, tomatoes and liquid from the can.

3. Break up the tomatoes with a large kitchen spoon. Add the tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, Worcestershire sauce, lemon peel, cloves, sugar, thyme and bay leaf. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the eggplant until lightly browned.

5. Add the shrimp to the sauce and simmer 10 minutes. Add egg plant and cook 10 minutes longer. Discard the lemon peel and bay leaf. Stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter and the capers. Transfer the dish to a hot serving platter and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve very hot with freshly cooked hot rice.

Yield: Four to six servings.

  • The Essential New York Times Coook Book


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup rice
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 2¼ cups chicken stock.

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic in it without browning.

2. Add the rice and Tabasco sauce to taste and cook, stirring, about two minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add it to the rice. Cover and simmer exactly 20 min utes.

Yield: Four servings.

Note: The rice may be made 30 minutes before serving.

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