Someone asked William Faulkner after he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature why he only wrote about the South? “It’s all I know,” replied the author. Food traditions necessarily connect to place and heritage and mine is Southern. However, life has presented opportunities like travel that broadened the palate.
Haute cuisine was experienced after post-graduate education. The food introductions continue to bring joy that comes from learning to be open to the magic of flavors, textures, aromas and that indescribable thrill whenever something new is presented.
The list of favorite restaurants and special chefs is long. Julia Child had star power equal to what I remember when I accidentally met Elvis Presley in the lobby of an Atlanta hotel before fame and fortune.
It’s getting warmer by the day here in the Deep South and menus feature dishes highlighted by the fruits from our abundant waters. Fresh-shucked oysters on the half-shell, Crab Soup, West Indies Salad, Fried Crawfish Tails, Broiled Crab Cakes, Trout Creole, Shotgun Shrimp are just a few of the popular dishes this time of year.
LeRuth’s, a New Orleans culinary shrine with few equals, remains in my memory. It was destroyed by fire many years ago but is the standard I use to evaluate restaurant experiences. You had to be there to understand.
The next time you’re in New Orleans on a Friday, let’s meet for a long lunch at Galatoire’s, the landmark restaurant in the French Quarter. Sure, it will be packed-good food, fine wines and perfect service will do that-but the Shrimp Remoulade accompanied by a couple of bottles of Cru Chablis will keep us happy, hungry enough to continue and thirsty through the afternoon. Never hurry is a cardinal rule of fine dining.
When sated, it’ll be time for a stroll down Royal Street visiting galleries and taking time for a palm reading.
Shrimp Remoulade Galatoire’s
Galatoire’s Restaurant graciously shared this recipe. It is the best shrimp dish I have ever tasted. Decorate the edge of plate with hard-boiled eggs sliced thin or quartered, and a few green and black olives. A wonderful dish, serve with fresh, warm French bread, butter and chilled white wine.
4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
¾ cup Italian flat leaf parsley
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup ketchup
½ cup tomato puree
½ cup Creole mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1?? cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons paprika
2 pounds large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 lettuce leaves
In the container of a food processor, combine the celery, green onions, onion and parsley. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the vinegar, ketchup, tomato puree, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Process until well blended, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times. With the food processor running, drizzle the oil in a steady stream, processing until blended. Stir in paprika. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
When ready to serve, stir the sauce, then pour over the shrimp and toss to coat. Serve on top of lettuce leaves.