Seafood Sauce Piquante St. James
PREP TIME: 1 1/2 Hours

Seafood sauce piquante is a great example of the development of Creole cooking. Piquante, meaning hot or spicy, gets its flavor from the hot, Spanish peppers that came to Louisiana from South America. The French, brown roux gives it a good flavor and color. A variety of ingredients from seafood to wild game may be added to this dish here in Bayou Country.


  • 6 fresh fish fillets, cubed
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1 pound claw crab meat
  • 3 pounds (50-60 count) shrimp
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 12 cups flour
  • 3 cups onions, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, minced
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 gallon hot seafood stock or water
  • 2 cups green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste

You may make a shellfish stock by adding the shells of the shrimp and crawfish to 1 1/2 gallons of water flavored with 2 diced onions, 1 stalk diced celery, 1/4 cup minced garlic and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 1 hour. Strain and retain 1 gallon of the liquid. Water may be used in the place of this stock. In a 12-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir constantly until dark brown roux is achieved. Add onions, celery and bell pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add garlic and tomato sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Rotel tomatoes and hot stock or water, 1 cup at a time, until stew-like consistency is achieved. DO NOT use all of the stock at once. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and add 1/4 of each of the seafoods. This will allow the sauce to gain a seafood flavor. Cook 30-40 minutes, adding stock as necessary to retain a stew-like consistency. Season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add all of the remaining seafood, sliced green onions and parsley. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to simmer and cook until seafoods are well done but not overcooked. The finished stew should be the consistency of a heavy whipping cream. Correct seasonings if necessary. Pepper may be added to attain a spice level desirable to your taste. Serve over steamed white rice.

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