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Brewton Inn Shrimp Creole

Follow our step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe for making this delicious Shrimp Creole recipe from the Brewton Inn in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ve teamed up with FoodSaver, the #1 Vacuum Sealing System to test out their newest product addition. Printable recipe included.

Shrimp Creole recipe, as seen on Taste of

Shrimp Creole recipe.

This week, I’ve got the pleasure to work with a new company to bring you this great Shrimp Creole recipe, adapted from the cookbook “Charleston Receipts.”

“Charleston Receipts,” is a collection of recipes published by The Junior League of Charleston, South Carolina. Originally published in 1950, the cookbook has seen at least 18 additional printings since that time, and is one of the many favorites in my cookbook collection.

I always enjoy visits to the Charleston area, and was actually down there this past Tuesday for a quick visit. I even enjoyed some shrimp for dinner.

Several weeks back, I was invited by the fine folks at FoodSaver, to receive, test and review the newest vacuum sealer to their lineup of great products. The FoodSaver FM5000.

I received the product free of charge, and was asked to freeze an item for approximately 30 days, then use that item in a recipe of my choice. The purpose was to test how well the new FoodSaver FM5000 Vacuum Sealer would keep my selected food product fresh.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance.

In the recipe below, I’ll introduce you to the new FoodSaver FM5000 itself, and share the complete recipe for making your very own Shrimp Creole at home.

I selected this recipe because I enjoy seafood for one thing, but also because we have been getting fresh North Carolina “green tail” shrimp recently. Green tails, or “white” shrimp, are only available around here during the fall months, and the season for them usually ends towards the end of November.

So, getting the chance to purchase some of these slightly sweeter shrimp, and store them long term, was something worth pursuing. You’ve got to get them while you can.

Ready for some Shrimp Creole? Ready to check out the new FoodSaver FM5000?  Alright then, let’s get in the kitchen and… Let’s Get Cooking!

Foodsaver 5000 unit that I received.

FoodSaver FM5000

This is the unit that I received to test and review. Sweet huh?

Admittedly, it was a little larger than I thought it might be, which was a concern for me in my small kitchen. But, with all the features on this unit, it’s quickly gained the counter space and will remain out for every day use.  The units measurements are these: 16.23”L x 7.80”W x 7.41”H, a little bigger than a long 4 slot toaster, but much more versatile.

Even before I received the unit, I had ventured over to the FoodSaver website and looked it up. They have lots of great photos, much better than mine, and lots of videos to explain how it works and how to use it. I was getting excited about receiving my very own, and thankfully it was shipped right out to me.

My best suggestion is for you to visit their website and see the many photos, videos and all the other specifics about this FoodSaver 5000 unit for yourself. That way, you can quickly learn more about it, and maybe decide that you’d like to have one as well.

Here’s the link:  FoodSaver FM5000

FoodSaver 5000 roll installation.

One of the really neat features of the FoodSaver FM5000 is how easy it is to load the Vacuum Seal Roll. It goes in from either side, and it’s always visible so you can see if you’re running low.

Of course, the rolls are just ONE of the ways you can seal with this unit. With the rolls, you can pull out as long a bag as you need, so storing those big fish you catch, is super easy.

The unit also comes with a variety of sizes of ready made bags. Save the roll for the bigger items, use the bags for the smaller.

FoodSaver cutter bar.

I want go into all the details here, but basically you seal the open end of the roll, pull out all you need, then use the convenient built in cutter that slides easily through the plastic to make the size bag you need for what you intend to freeze. Now you’ve got an open end to insert the food product, and you’ll vacuum seal the bag and heat seal it for fast and easy freezer storage.

Shrimp Creole, North Carolina green tail shrimp.

Fresh off the boat, North Carolina green tail shrimp.

I purchased these from a roadside seafood market that’s just down the road from me. Every weekend, they bring all types of fresh seafood up from the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina.

I placed the shrimp in my colander, and gave them a quick rinse under some cold running water.

Shrimp Creole, ready to quick freeze.

Next, I placed them on this small sheet pan. I’m going to stick them in the freezer just like this for about an hour. I want that little coat of water to freeze on the shrimp, then I’m going to place them in the FoodSaver bag to vacuum seal them for the next 30 days.

Shrimp Creole, frozen shrimp.

The little bit of ice will also help keep them fresh. Here they are after an hour or so, ready to go into the FoodSaver FM5000 bag.

Shrimp Creole, sealing the shrimp in the FoodSaver 5000 bag.

I opted to use one of the ready made bags for this. I just placed the frozen shrimp in the bag, then placed the open end of the bag in the slot to vacuum seal them. What’s really nice about this unit, is they have a window where you can actually see that the end of the bag is in the right place that it needs to be to insure a proper seal.

Holding the bag in place, you press the Vacuum and Seal Bar, and the unit automatically begins. The bar locks down on the bag, and the vacuum process begins, quickly pulling all of the air out of the bag. Once the air is removed, the bar then heat seals the end of the bag. In less than 30 seconds, I had sealed these shrimp in an airtight bag, ready to go back into the freezer.

It’s not necessary to pre-freeze most food items when using the FoodSaver FM5000. I just did this because they were wet, and you don’t want liquids getting sucked into the pump as it removes air from the bag.

Shrimp Creole, the sealed bag.

Here’s a closer look at the sealed end of the bag.

Now, I’m going to pop this bag in the freezer, and in about 30 days, I’ll pull them back out to use in the recipe for Shrimp Creole.

Shrimp Creole, zip lock and container sealer.

This is another feature of the FoodSaver FM5000. 

It has this retractable handheld sealer that you can pull out to seal some of the specialty products made by FoodSaver. They have created zip-lock style bags, and a line of plastic storage containers that can also be vacuum sealed.

With the zip-lock bags, you can open a bag, remove as much product as you need, zip the bag closed, then vacuum seal it AGAIN. How cool is that.

They also have various sizes of plastic containers with closures on top. Place the retractable handheld sealer over that, then vacuum the air out of the container. Like the zip-lock bags, they are reuseable as well.

Think about all the leftovers you place in the refrigerator each day. What if you could vacuum seal them before storing them for the next day or two. Well, now you can.

The containers are also a great way to marinate food items for the grill. Super fast.

Shrimp Creole, jar sealer.

It also comes with this jar sealer.

Although I haven’t tried it yet, I’m really looking forward to seeing how this works.

I’ve recently started storing dry beans, pasta, oatmeal and some other items inside half gallon Mason Jars that I purchased at the local auction I attend. I love old jars for some reason. And, you should already know that I’m big on canning, so I do have lots of empty jars around most of the time.

While this can NOT be used for canning purposes, it CAN be used to vacuum seal your jars, to help keep the items inside fresh much, much longer.

As a matter of fact, FoodSaver claims that sealing food in their vacuum sealing units can keep food items fresh up to FIVE TIMES longer than just storing them in regular bags or containers. That just equals fresher food longer, less waste, and more money SAVED.

Shrimp Creole, on the counter top.

You’ll want to leave this kitchen tool out on the counter top for everyday use.

Shrimp Creole, ingredients.

Shrimp Creole Recipe, you’ll need these ingredients.

OK, let’s get ready to cook some shrimp.

It’s been almost 30 days since we first froze our shrimp in the FoodSaver FM5000 Vacuum Sealing Unit, time to put it to the test and see what happens.

Shrimp Creole, side-by-side comparison.

Here’s a photo of the fresh shrimp on the left, and right after I took them out of the sealed bag on the right. Looking good. I really should have let them thawed fully before taking the photo, but I got a bit ambitious I guess. After all, I’ve been waiting a month to cook this recipe.

Shrimp Creole, wash the vegetables.

Rinse your Bell Pepper and Celery stalks in cool running water.

Shrimp Creole, dice the bell pepper.

Now, dice the bell pepper.

Shrimp Creole, dice the celery.

Dice the celery stalks.

Shrimp Creole, dice the onions.

Dice the onions. Yes, they always make me cry too.

Shrimp Creole, peel and devein the shrimp.

Peel and devein the shrimp.

That’s a process we’ll save for another time. I purchased large headless shrimp that still had their outer shell, so I needed to peel and devein them first.

Shrimp Creole, add the bacon grease.

Place your skillet over Medium heat on your stove top, then add the Bacon grease. You do save your bacon grease don’t you? (Smile)

Shrimp Creole, add the onions.

Add the diced onions.

Shrimp Creole, add pepper and celery.

Add the diced Bell Pepper and the diced Celery.

Shrimp Creole, cook until onions are translucent.

Stir this mixture often, and let it cook until the veggies are tender and the onions are translucent.

Shrimp Creole, add tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes.

The old Charleston Receipts cookbook says to add a quart of tomatoes. I’m assuming this was based on the fact that many folks back then home canned their tomatoes for later use. Thus, the quart measurement.

I wasn’t that smart, so I just added a large can of crushed tomatoes.

Shrimp Creole, add sugar.

Add the Sugar.

Shrimp Creole, add tomato paste.

Add the Tomato Paste.

Shrimp Creole, stir well.

Stir everything together well.

Shrimp Creole, simmer until thickened.

Let this simmer gently over Medium-Low heat for about 30 minutes. The original recipe says until the sauce has thickened.

As a matter of personal preference, I think I would have preferred mine to be a little juicer at the end, but that’s just me. The tomatoes needed time to cook down some, but it did turn out fairly thick. Just saying.

At this point, you’ll want to taste the sauce to see how much salt and pepper you need to add.

Surprisingly, salt and pepper are the only spices called for in this recipe. It ended up having a fairly mild taste and although I don’t show it, I opted to add a little Old Bay Seasoning to the dish. I think that helped, for my tastes at least.

Shrimp Creole, add the shrimp.

Add the shrimp.

I used the back of my spoon to gently press the shrimp down into the sauce until they were fully submerged.

The shrimp only need about 5 minutes to cook, so keep this in mind to do just a few minutes before serving the dish.

Shrimp Creole, enjoy.


Serve the Shrimp Creole warm, over a bed of rice, and dig in.

I must say, the shrimp tasted great, even after being in the freezer for weeks. I can’t wait to try this FoodSaver on some other items very soon.

The resealable zip-lock bags are going to be great for storing diced Bell Peppers too. Around here, one Bell Pepper can cost about 1.69 cents each during the winter months, whereas you can generally buy about 5 of them for one dollar during the summer from the Farmers Market. I buy them on sale, dice them up and freeze. Only in the past, they would always get ice crystals all in the bag. I don’t think that’s going to be the case from now on. Plus, I’ll save money. How cool is that? Winner! Winner!

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