I love southern food and one of the best southern food is Cajun food. This is a really great traditional Creole recipe. Tip: you can use frozen shrimp if fresh shrimp is not available in your area. Just thaw before cooking.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet and add the bell pepper, onion, and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes, until limp.
Add the flour, stirring until brown. (making a roux)
Add all the other ingredients except the shrimp and rice. Stir until the mixture reaches a low boil and begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes to blend the flavor.
Just before serving, add the shrimp to the sauce and stir just until they are pink but still firm, about 3 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and spoon the shrimp and vegetables over the white rice.