Shrimp Creole with Pappy’s Sauce by Watson Kitchen

We were invited to sample a few treats from the good people at Watson Kitchen, a little family business based in Tampa FL. Since shrimp creole is one of my go-to dishes in cajun restaurants – come back Monday for more along those lines! – I was most curious about what their sauce was like. They were kind enough to include two jars of their pickled vegetables as well.

Watson Kitchen was founded by Marte Watson and her son Armin, who spotlight Florida producers by ensuring at least 75 percent of all ingredients are grown locally. All products are gluten free, non-GMO and handcrafted and bottled in their commercial kitchen. Watson Kitchen’s first product, named for Marte’s father, Red Hall, was Pappy’s Creole Sauce. They describe it as “a scarlet-red tomato sauce simmered with homemade chicken stock, fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers and celery.”

We lucked into a terrific sale at Super H Mart in Doraville – a tip of the hat to our friend Helen for spotting the deal – and Marie picked up some wild-caught shrimp for just $5.29 a pound. No, the shrimp available anywhere in Atlanta will not be quite as amazing as what we can find on the coast, but this was still very good shrimp, and just what this really good sauce needed. Marie kept the sauce simmering while she peeled a pound and a half of shrimp, then cooked them in the sauce for about ten minutes and served it over white rice.

Nobody ever said that shrimp creole is a particularly complex or complicated dish, but it doesn’t need to be. Pappy’s Sauce is not really spicy at all, but it has a very deep and complex taste, and is packed full of flavor. I certainly enjoyed this a lot. It was a quick and simple Sunday meal and I was especially happy to have had an extra portion set aside for lunch a couple of days later. What we didn’t do, and we should have, was had some crusty bread with our meal. Should you wish to try Pappy’s Sauce, remember to put some garlic toast or French bread in the oven before you start the sauce simmering!

We opened the jar of pickled tomatoes to enjoy along with our shrimp creole. Watson Kitchen suggests that these are best served chilled. We didn’t think to do that but really enjoyed them all the same. The tomatoes would go really well on a turkey and Swiss sandwich, or on a burger. The spicy Dilly Beans photographed terribly, but I had those along with a ham and cheese sandwich and think that they’re a great little side dish. We recommend all three!

At present, Watson Kitchen’s line, which includes the three items that they sent as well as three jams, is only available at select retailers in Florida, but they have an online general store that we hope you will visit. If you live in Florida, and we know that some of you do, ask for Watson Kitchen at your grocery store, and if you don’t live in Florida, give their online store a try. We know that all our readers like to support small businesses, and this is a great one to check out!

(As noted, this was a media offer and this product was provided without cost. It’s our policy to always note when we’ve received our meal without charge. If you would like to invite us to your restaurant’s media events or your product launches, please drop Grant a line at gmslegion@gmail.com .)


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