Sauté first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender; gradually stir in flour until smooth. Stir in tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Stir in shrimp, and cook 5 more minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve over hot cooked rice.
Chicken Creole: Prepare recipe as directed, substituting 1 pound boned and skinned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces, for shrimp. Cook chicken an additional 5 minutes or until done. Proceed as directed. Prep: 15 min., Cook: 35 min.