In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour to make a roux and cook to peanut butter color. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water and stir well. Add the Essence, and bay leaves, and reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, sherry, parsley, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook just until they curl and turn pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve hot over steamed rice with the Fried Mirliton Strips.
Yield: 4 servings