"My favorite meal to cook is Creole Shrimp and Tasso Stew from my dad's recipe," songwriter Troy Verges tells Taste of Country. "We make it every time my parents visit Nashville, for a lot of holidays and most LSU game days when I'm back home in Louisiana."

Verges says that while his shrimp/stew recipe is simmering, the house fills will all of the smells of home. "Aside from how delicious it is, the best part about making this stew is the standing around the stove, drinking cold beer and catching up with friends while you stir the pot," he says.

Creole Shrimp and Tasso Stew Ingredients:

4 lbs large shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1/2 lb tasso - very thinly sliced or finely chopped
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
7 cups water
8 oz prepared roux
5 teaspoons chopped garlic (10 cloves)
3 tablespoons Tony Chachere's seasoning
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup Cajun Power Garlic Sauce
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
32 oz. extra long grain rice

Creole Shrimp and Tasso Stew Recipe Directions:

1. In an 8 quart pot, saute onions and bell peppers in oil on medium / high for 10 minutes or until tender.
2. Lower heat to medium.
3. Add roux and cook about 5 minutes, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon.
4. Add 4 cups of water and continue cooking until the roux is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
5. Keep stirring.
6. Add chopped garlic, Tony Chachere's seasoning and tomato paste.
7. Stir until blended and cook an additional 10 minutes.
8. Turn heat to low.
9. Add 3 cups of water, tasso, parsley flakes, salt, Cajun Power Garlic Sauce and green onions.
10. Cook on low for 20 minutes.
11. Add shrimp and cook about 15 minutes more on low.
12. Cook the rice according to package instructions.
13. Serve the stew over rice.

Make approximately 16-20 servings. Recipe can be halved to make 8-10 servings, but Verges says, "Make the whole thing ... it tastes even better the next day!"

Note: If you can't find some of these ingredients in your local grocery store, they're all available at www.cajungrocer.com

About Troy Verges:

Troy Verges has been a mainstay in the country music industry for years with his countless cuts by artists of all walks of life. His first major cut came in 1999 when Faith Hill recorded his tune 'Love Is a Sweet Thing' for her 8x-platinum selling album, 'Breathe.' A year later, Verges was named the BMI and NSAI's Songwriter of the Year and landed the title of Music Row magazine's Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year for penning such hits as Martina McBride's chart-topper 'Blessed' and Jessica Andrews' No. 1 hit, 'Who I Am.'

Other country cuts have come from Taylor Swift ('A Perfectly Good Heart'), Tim McGraw (''Drugs or Jesus,' 'Telluride'), Kenny Chesney ('You Save Me'), Carrie Underwood ('Wasted'), Hunter Hayes ('Wanted'), Trisha Yearwood ('I Would've Loved You Anyway') and many more.

Verges' talents have also seeped through into other musical genres, with artists such as Matt Nathanson, Backstreet Boys, Katherine McPhee, Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion and Bon Jovi cutting his tunes.