Shrimp Creole


Shrimp Creole is a flavorful Louisiana recipe that relies on the flavors of the trinity (celery, onion and green pepper) along with Tabasco to give it a kick.  It’s served over rice, which makes it one of our favorite frugal dishes.

However, don’t confuse it with Gumbo!  Gumbo is Cajun rather than Creole.  Gumbo is created by slow-cooking roux until golden brown.  Creole dishes are usually a bit spicier, and don’t contain a roux.  Both include the trinity and are ”improvisational” dishes, as the basic recipe may be altered to include whatever ingredients the cook has available (Wikipedia).

Frugal Tips:  I use bagged frozen shrimp for this recipe.  About every 2-3 months, I find it on sale at Cub Foods during their BOGO sales.  Since I’m able to store it in my deep freeze, I buy several bags when the price is low.

Shrimp Creole
Serves: 4-6
Creole flavors plus rice and shrimp come together for this easy dish
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14-5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Tabasco
  • 1 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

  1. Melt butter in skillet. Add onion, green pepper and celery and saute until soft (about 5-7 minutes). Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic. Pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat. Add shrimp five minutes before serving and heat through. Serve over white rice.

View more creole recipes on

Classic French Steamed Mussels

Classic French Steamed Mussels


Steamed mussels are one of our favorite “at-home date night” meals. They cost around $4 per pound, and are easy to make. I first posted our Mussels in Garlic Wine Sauce recipe on Frugal Bites a couple months ago. I recently found this recipe in the newspaper and gave it a try.  It’s based on a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated.  It was very similar to our other recipe, with just slight variations in the amounts of each ingredient.

Classic French Steamed Mussels
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4-6
Mussels create an easy, elegant dish that is surprisingly frugal.
  • 2 C. white wine
  • ½ C. minced shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ C. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 lb. mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
  • 4 Tbsp. butter

  1. In a large saucepan, bring wine, shallots, garlic, parsley, and bay leaf to a simmer. Cook about 3 minutes. Add mussels and cover the pan. Cook until the mussels have opened, about 5-8 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
  2. Remove mussels from the sauce. Add butter and stir to emulsify. Pour the liquid over the mussels. Serve with linguine noodles and/or crusty bread.


Asian Glazed Salmon: A Flavor-Packed Dinner in Under 30 Minutes

asian glazed salmon ruby tuesday

The best thing about salmon, other than its great flavor, is the fact that it’s good for you.   It’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to lower your cholesterol and improve your memory (among other great things).

When it comes to preparing salmon, I often get stuck in a rut.  I went about searching for recipes the other day and came up with this one.  I love that this dish can be made in under 30 minutes from start to finish.  The red pepper flakes add a kick, but you can dial back the heat by adding more or less according to your taste.  Hoisin sauce is almost like an Asian molasses.  I found it in the ethnic section of our regular grocery store, but if you have trouble finding it you can always get it on   If you want to go the frugal route, don’t get it at all and substitute molasses.  It won’t be as authentic-tasting, but it will still be good.

Frugal Tips:  Many people avoid eating salmon because it tends to be expensive.  A bag of four salmon fillets is just $4.99 in the freezer section at ALDI Food Stores.   When you offset a dish like this by serving it with rice, the cost is actually very reasonable.

This was originally posted on Mommysavers:  Ruby Tuesday copycat salmon

Asian Glazed Salmon
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Serves: 4
  • ½ C. brown sugar
  • ⅓ C. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 salmon fillets
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and fresh lime juice. Heat in a medium saucepan until bubbly. Place salmon fillets in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the fillets, coating well. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve over rice.



Shrimp Scampi with Linguine Noodles

shrimp scampi linguine

Last weekend, I was watching an old episode of Barefoot Contessa and Ina Garten presented her fabulous shrimp scampi recipe.  It looked so simple and easy, I decided to put it to the test.  I’ve made shrimp scampi many times before, but Ina’s recipe called for lemon and cracked red pepper in addition to my typical recipe.  As expected, it was delicious!

Frugal Tips:  I rarely pay full price for shrimp.  Often, it goes on sale at the grocery store during BOGO sales.  When it does, I stock up!

Adapted from Shrimp Scampi by Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa on

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine Noodles
Recipe type: main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4
This delicious dish is ready in under 30 minutes
  • 1 box linguine noodles
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 lb. uncooked shrimp
  • ⅓ C. chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ C. lemon juice (I used juice from concentrate)
  • ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes
  1. Prepare linguine according to package instructions. In a large skillet, melt butter in olive oil. Add garlic and give a quick stir. Next, add salt, pepper and shrimp and cook until they turn light pink, turning as necessary. Add parsley, lemon juice, and red pepper. Add linguine noodles, tossing to coat with the shrimp scampi sauce. Serve immediately.


She Crab Soup Recipe: Flavors of the Gulf at Home

she crab soup recipe

On our Panama City Beach road trip, I was reminded how wonderful she crab soup can taste.  Living in Minnesota, it’s not something we see on the menu very often.  My first taste of she crab soup was at The Bubble Room on Captiva Island in Florida when my daughter was a baby.  Since then, I’ve been ordering it whenever I’m near the gulf.  Like most regional foods I crave when I’m back at home, I set out to try to make it myself.

The version below is pretty close to what I know and love.  It was inspired by Paula Deen’s She Crab Soup Recipe on and The Classic She Crab Soup recipe on  I switched it up by blending it with a stick blender (shown below).  If you use fresh crab meat (vs. the canned kind I used) you may want to omit that step for a chunkier soup.  Note:  NEVER use imitation crab meat in this recipe.  I didn’t want the flaky texture of the canned crab in my soup and opted to blend it to make it creamy.  If you can’t find Louisiana Hot Sauce, you can add heat with a few shakes of Tabasco.

Frugal Tips:   Traditional she-crab soup calls for the roe of the crab, but hard-cooked eggs are a frugal (and more accessible) substitute.

She Crab Soup Recipe
  • 3 hard boiled egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ C. fish stock
  • 1½ C. milk
  • 1½ C. heavy cream
  • 2 6-oz. cans crabmeat
  • ⅓ C. sherry
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Louisiana Hot Sauce (or similar)
  • ¾ C. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp. paprika for garnish
  1. With a fork, crumble the eggs yolks. Set aside. In a stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add green onion, celery and garlic, and stir until translucent. Add the flour and cook until it starts to form a paste. Add fish stock, milk, and cream. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add egg yolks, crab meat, sherry, pepper, hot sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Heat until cheese has entirely melted. With a stick blender, blend until the soup is thick and creamy. Garnish with green onions and a sprinkle of paprika.