5 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 cup diced green bell pepper (about 1 large bell pepper)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 medium stalks
2 tablespoons sliced garlic (about 2 medium garlic cloves)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of cayenne
½ cup tomato paste
About 20 sprigs of thyme, tied in a bundle with kitchen twine
1 bay leaf
1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water nearby. Remove core from tomatoes with a paring knife. Score opposite end with an “x” and drop into boiling water. Cook until skin just begins to pull back, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from pot and submerge in bowl of ice water. Once cool, peel off skin.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add salt, oregano, black pepper, white pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne; stir to thoroughly combine. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and the bay leaf; stir to thoroughly combine. Cover pan and reduce to low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce comes together, about 1 hour.
- Add shrimp and cook until just pink and firm, about 5 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaf before serving. Serve over grits.
- from Chef Sarah O'Kelley of The Glass Onion, Charleston, SC