I've never tackled Creole cuisine, so when I decided to throw a Creole and Cajun-influenced barbecue, I needed to start from the ground up and used Creole sauce as my introduction.
It's a fitting choice, since the sauce's base is the Creole "holy trinity"—onions, celery, and green bell peppers. These were sauteed until they started to lose some volume, then garlic, tomatoes, and chicken stock were added, along with seasonings in the form of Louisiana hot sauce, Worcestershire, bay leaves, white and cayenne peppers, and dried thyme.
After the sauce simmered for twenty minutes, it was finished with butter—which gave it a nice, slightly thick consistency—parsley, and green onions.
What I had created seemed an embodiment of Creole flavors. The vegetables gave the sauce a great freshness along with complexity that went beyond any other tomato sauce I've ever made before. While the garden flavor started the sauce off, as it settled on the tongue, the spices started to mingle, with the distinct white pepper playing heavily, and the hot sauce and cayenne ending the affair with a slight hit of heat.
This was seriously delicious over some blackened catfish, but it can do so much more as the base of shrimp creole or as a condiment on a po'boy, or spooned over almost any grilled meat.
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.