½ cup flour (or whole wheat flour)
½ cup oil
parsley (2 tablespoons dried or 1 handful fresh, chopped)
Approx 2 tablespoons Tony Chachare’s seasoning (or approx 1 tablespoon each cayenne pepper, salt, parsley, and ½ tablespoon paprika)
Approx 1.5 teaspoon salt
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 or 5 toes of garlic, finely chopped
2 whole bay leaves (optional)
2 or 3 stalks celery, chopped
1 to 1.5 cups of warm water
1 sm. can tomato sauce
1 to 1.5 pounds seafood of your choice (shrimp, catfish, or redfish are most common)
Put the flour and oil in a hot skillet and stir constantly on medium flame to make roux. Stir until mixture has reached desired consistency (dark brown for a more Cajun roux, lighter brown for a more French roux, whichever is your preferred taste). If roux is undercooked, the meal will have a unpleasant floury taste to it, and if the roux gets overcooked/burned, your sauce will be ruined, so make sure the roux is right before adding other ingredients. The roux gets a nutty/popcorn smell to it when it starts to lightly brown, letting you know that it is close to being ready. Once the roux is where you want it, add the chopped onion, which will reduce the temperature of the roux and stop the browning process.
Add the celery, garlic, parsley, and bay leaves. Stir and let cook for a few minutes and then slowly add approximately 1 to 1.5 cups of warm water, stirring evenly to avoid “breaking” the roux. Add the Tony Chachare’s, salt, and any other seasonings to taste. Turn down the heat slightly and cook for approximately 20 minutes (more or less depending on how crisp/cooked you like your vegetables), stirring often, and then add the seafood and tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Serve hot over rice with about 2/3 rice to 1/3 sauce ratio.
Note 1: If you want, the meat can be pre-cooked and added to the creole sauce just after the tomato sauce, or it can be eaten meat-free over rice.
Note 2: If using the sauce on whole redfish to be cooked, spread the sauce over the fish, cover with foil, and cook as usual. Check meat partway through cooking and ladle sauce over meat as often as needed.