- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2003

BATON ROUGE, La. — New Orleans cookbook author Christopher Blake wrote in his “Easy Elegance Cookbook” that the Creole version of shrimp remoulade always shocks the poor Frenchman who comes to New Orleans and orders the popular dish.

The south Louisiana version, which is usually highly spiced with horseradish and coarse-ground Creole mustard, is nothing like the classic French version with its mayonnaise-based sauce mixed with mustard, capers, chopped gherkins, herbs and anchovies.

However, by the time the Frenchman has eaten two or three remoulade helpings, he agrees that even a French gourmet can dine pretty well in the Colonies, Mr. Blake said.

Shrimp remoulade is a summer favorite in south Louisiana homes and restaurants. Often, it’s the dish served on Sunday or Monday using the leftover boiled shrimp from the Saturday shrimp boil.

It is not a complicated dish to make, but there are differences in opinion about whether the remoulade sauce should contain mayonnaise.

Red remoulade, which is actually more of a chili red color due to the addition of both Creole mustard and horseradish to a tomato puree, contains no mayonnaise.

White remoulade, which is salmon-colored, while similar to the red formulation, does contain a hefty dollop of mayonnaise and is pinker in color.

Both red and white remoulades have their fans, and since the sauces are somewhat similar, it is best to prepare a batch of both to serve at luncheons and dinner parties.

Some cooks recommend combining the remoulade sauce and boiled shrimp a few hours before serving so that the shrimp absorb more of the zesty sauce seasonings.

That’s a good idea if you’ve cooked bland boiled shrimp. If you’ve used a commercial shrimp boil seasoning when cooking the shrimp, your shrimp will have plenty of flavor, and combining the sauce and shrimp ahead of time isn’t necessary.

An argument for not mixing the shrimp and sauce ahead is that the vinegar or lemon juice present in many remoulade sauces starts to tenderize the surface of the cooked shrimp. If you like good, firm shrimp, don’t combine the shrimp with the remoulade sauce until ready to serve.

Classic shrimp remoulade is spooned over a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce and garnished with lengthwise slices of boiled eggs and lemon wedges.

You’ll want a taste of each sauce and seconds, for sure.

Shrimp remoulade

This recipe — a red remoulade — is from “River Road Recipes II” by the Junior League of Baton Rouge.

4 tablespoons horseradish mustard

1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 whole clove garlic

1 cup salad oil

1/2 cup finely minced green onions with tops

1/2 cup finely minced celery

2 pounds boiled shrimp, peeled and chilled

Mix all ingredients, except shrimp, together in a blender. Chill sauce in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours.

Pour sauce over boiled shrimp. Serve shrimp with sauce cold on lettuce. Makes 21/2 cups sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Shrimp remoulade from Galatoire’s Restaurant

This recipe appeared in the February Chile Pepper magazine. This is a red remoulade. The paprika amount is correct and takes about half a bottle.

1 cup chopped celery

3 green onions, chopped

⅔ cup chopped parsley

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

1 cup ketchup

1 cup tomato puree

1 cup Creole mustard

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 cup red-wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup salad oil

11/2 ounces paprika

4 pounds shrimp, boiled, peeled and chilled

Mix celery, green onions, parsley, yellow onion, ketchup, tomato puree, Creole mustard, horseradish, red-wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, oil and paprika in a food processor or blender.

Pour the blended sauce into a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary, adding more horseradish, if desired.

Evenly coat the shrimp with the sauce and serve on a bed of lettuce. Makes 12 servings.

White shrimp remoulade

This recipe is from “Culinary Secrets” by Margo B. Hayes and Mary Ann Monsour.

1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup prepared horseradish

1/4 cup Creole mustard

2 pounds boiled shrimp, peeled and chilled

Mix together all ingredients, except shrimp, for sauce. (This may be done a day or two in advance.) Toss with cooled shrimp. Serve chilled. Makes 8 servings

Tips on cooking shrimp

Purchase heads-on shrimp, if possible, in the size or count you desire. While heads-on is not as economical a shrimp buy as heads-off, the heads impart flavoring to the seasoned water in which the shrimp cook. A good size shrimp for shrimp remoulade is 20 to 25 count, which means you get 20 to 25 shrimp per pound.

Two pounds of raw, heads-on shrimp will yield a little less than a pound of cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp, or enough to feed 4 persons.

Boil shrimp in a commercial shrimp-boil seasoning product according to directions on the package or bottle.

After shrimp cool, dehead and chill. Finish peeling and deveining shrimp 1 hour before serving.

After peeling and deveining, return the cleaned shrimp to the refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap.

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