Shrimp Creole

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 bunches chives or 12 scallions, finely chopped (2 cups)
4 shallots, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
1-2 habanero chiles, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1-1/2 tsp. curry powder
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/4tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup dark rum
1/3 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
18 jumbo or 24 large shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, chives or scallions, shallots, all but 1 tsp. of the garlic, and the chiles, ginger and curry powder. Cook stirring until just beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, the 1/2 cup of parsley, the cilantro, thyme, and bay leaf. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the rum and bring to a boil. Add the fish stock or clam juice and tomato paste, and reduce the heat. Simmer until the mixture has thickened and is flavorful, about 10 minutes. (The onion-tomato mixture can be made ahead to this point and kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.) Return the vegetable mixture to a simmer before proceeding.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp in a shallow glass dish and toss with 2 Tbsp. of lime juice, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Stir the marinated shrimp into the onion-tomato mixture and gently simmer over low heat, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are curled and opaque, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tsp. garlic. Taste and adjust the seasonings with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of parsley and serve at once.

Serves 6.