Aug 252010

Jars of Creole SauceIn my ever continuing journey to both eat unique, seasonal meals as well as cook ahead to make future meals easier I’ve been trying to both relish and enjoy the bounty of summer fresh and sweet, while also preserving some of it for my winter pantry.

Lately, every week or so I have one “Big” cooking day.  I make a loaf or two of bread, feed all of my sourdoughs (yes, I have three now.), maybe shred some zucchini for the freezer, and then choose a recipe from one of my preserving books to make up for the pantry while summer produce is plentiful.

I guess you could say that I’m making my own convenience foods when, you know, it’s convenient.

While flipping through a recent read from the library I did a double take.  Creole Sauce.  As I love all things Southern, Creole Sauce sounded perfect for my next project.  A “Charleston” Creole Sauce is not as spicy as traditional Creole Sauce from Louisiana, but perfect for my family as I’m feeding two little boys from the pot as well.

Daddy can always add some hot sauce on top.

As we’re right in the middle of tomato and pepper season, two of the major components of this sauce, I had to make it.

Plus, as this recipe has so much fresh tomato, along with the lemon juice, it creates a sauce that is sufficiently acidified to be safely canned with just a boiling water canner and it does not need to be pressure-canned.  Perfect!

I can’t wait to enjoy this on a busy, rainy evening this fall . . . perfect to remind us of summer!

Charleston Creole Sauce

lightly adapted from Putting Up; A year round guide to canning in the Southern Tradition

makes 5 Quarts

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 pounds onions, chopped (I used the food process for the chopping – saved me some tears!)
  • 1 pound green bell peppers, diced
  • 1-1/2 ounces (about 2 medium) jalapenos, seeded, deveined and diced fine
  • 1/2 bunch of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 7 pounds tomatoes, halved, squeezed of seeds, and chopped (I used the food processor for the chopping – I just added quartered tomatoes to the bowl in batches to make the job easier)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons picked, fresh thyme, packed tight
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Note: Measure all ingredients by weight prior to cutting and chopping.
Measuring Tomatoes

Melt butter in a large pot.  Add onions, peppers, celery, garlic and tomato paste and saute until onion is transparent, about 10-15 minutes.

Add remainder of ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring often. This recipe filled my largest pot.

(And yes, that is a pink, glittery spatula.  I think it’s fabulous.)

Creole Sauce in Pot

Hot pack into clean, sanitized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes, beginning timing once the water returns to a boil.
Canning Creole Sauce

Allow to cool on a towel, check for seals and store!

Now.  Do you want to know what it looks like when you actually eat it?

And, maybe, how to use it?

How gorgeous is this?  Stephen Palmer Dowdney, author of Putting Up, has indicated his favorite recipe, which sounds like it is just up my alley as well!

“Fry two pieces of bacon until crisp.  Remove the bacon and fold in a paper towel to cool.  To the remnants in the pan (bacon grease and crackle) add the jar of creole, stirring and mixing well.  At the first sign of boiling, reduce the heat, crumble and add the bacon and add 1-1/2 pounds cooked and peeled wile-caught shrimp.  Let the shrimp heat only, not cook!  Serve over a shallow bed of rice.”

There’s a reason why he writes cookbooks.  Doesn’t that just sound scrumptious?  Seriously, he had me at “bacon grease.”  You could also substitute cooked chicken, add a sliced sausage, the options are endless . . .


This post is written in conjunction with the Summer Fest 2010, the Nourishing Jams, Jellies, Preserves & More 2010 BlogHop.

Image Credit of the completed Shrimp Creole in the blue bowl is credited to the lovely Ms. Paula Deen. The remainder of the images are mine, however, as I’ve only made the sauce but not yet the meal yet, doesn’t hers look divine?  Thanks Paula!
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  10 Responses to “Creole Sauce”

  1. mmmm,so Yummy!
    I love shrimp and spicy foods.
    This is certainly a must-try recipe!

  2. This looks great! I’m always looking for things to do with shrimp that are flavorful! I just got a big box of tomatoes from my coworker, so I think creole sauce is going to be made this weekend…

  3. Oh, and I also wanted to say that I love that your measurements are in weights. I have a kitchen scale, and prefer to use that to cups/oz.

    • Thanks Adrienne!

      I’ve been using my scale a lot more often around here too – especially with baking! And, with vegetables and fruits it is just easier when you’re harvesting or purchasing them to think in terms of weight as so many varieties are different sizes and shapes.


  4. Thank you Sarah for submitting your Creole Sauce on the “Nourishing Jams, Jellies, Preserves and More” Blog Hop.
    This is the first time I have ever attempted to start one of these and so appreciate Wardeh and Diana hosting with me.
    Should be a lot of fun by weeks end to see all the different recipes shared.
    Thanks again, Pamela @ Seeds at Nutrition!!

  5. My goodness, that looks amazing. I so admire your beautiful recipes, Sarah. I’m really impressed that you have 3 sourdough starters, too. 🙂 Thanks for contributing this and the other recipes to the jam blog hop!

  6. sauce looks delicious, i love the home canning method- great! found your blog over at pinchmysalt. midwest? bet you have a great big yard for your garden. i live here in la, getting ready to plant a little garden in my little yard- wish me luck.

    Chef Louise

    • Thanks Louise!

      Yes, we have a big garden now – but less than two years ago we were gardening on our patio outside of our little townhouse in Santa Monica – your neck of the woods – so I understand where you are coming from!

      Unfortunately, my tomatoes are only NOW starting to ripen and my peppers all got eaten down by rabbits so I had to buy the ones featured in this sauce, but it was worth it regardless! I hope you try it!


      PS – Loved checking out your blog too! Those brined pork chops are going on the menu plan for this weekend . . . they look scrumptious! Thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Looks amazing, I have never canned before but I hope to get started this summer (Santa brought me a water bath). This creole sauce recipe looks similar to one that I make to eat fresh. That rice and shrimp dish looks great but my favorite way to eat creole sauce is to heat it in a big skillet and then poach eggs in it. Serve with toast for a hearty delish breakfast.

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