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This is a dish that benefits from a long, slow simmer. However, if you are crunched for time, you can cut the covered simmer time down to meet your needs.
Many commercial creole seasonings and stocks contain salt, so keep that in mind when you add more salt. It's a good practice to taste it before adding any salt.
It is always better to use stock instead of water. For general purposes, chicken stock is always good. If making this sauce to accompany crawfish, try to use crawfish stock; if accompanying shrimp, try to use shrimp stock.....you get the idea! You can also grab these commercial stocks from Amazon...it's actually what I use most of the time!
This sauce is wonderful with fresh tomatoes-make sure they are VERY ripe and peel them before using. You may want to add a little more tomato sauce if you use fresh tomatoes. If you don't have a favorite brand of canned tomatoes, this is what I used when I developed the recipe. There are lots of good ones out there and this is a very good one!