I lived most of my adult life in Houston, TX. When I craved really good food, I'd hop in my car and drive to New Orleans. This was often a spur of the moment Friday night trip. I'd spend all day Saturday stuffing myself and drive home on Sunday feeling fat and happy.
My favorite New Orleans dish is Pommes Souffle. I've never encountered it in a US restaurant outside of the Big Easy, probably because it is very difficult to cook successfully. Basically, it is the ultimate French Fry served with a Bearnaise dipping sauce. The potatoes are twice fried in such a way that they puff up to form a thin crisp potato shell surrounding air. The potatoes must be aged and sliced perfectly in order to puff. I'd love to share a recipe but I have never had any success cooking the dish at home. My potatoes are all duds.
My second favorite dish is Shrimp Remoulade in the style of Arnaud's Restaurant. I think I have come close to perfecting this dish. My recipe is inspired by one in "The New Orleans Cookbook" by Rina and Richard Collin. I have a large collection of Cajun/Creole cookbooks and "The New Orleans Cookbook" is my favorite. I highly recommend it. While I love Paul Prudhomme's books, the recipes don't always succeed in the home kitchen. Another excellent cookbook is "Cajun-Creole Cooking" by Terry Thompson.
In this recipe it is important to adjust the amounts of the sharp flavored ingredients (vinegar, cayenne, horseradish, etc.) to your own taste. Start with less and add more to taste.
1 bunch green onions
2 small stalks celery
3 large sprigs parsley, stemmed
3 Tb Creole mustard (see note)
4 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 t cayenne or more to taste
2 heaping T horseradish
S & P to taste
3-4 T white wine or Sherry vinegar
5 t lemon juice
1 t dried basil
1/2-3/4 c olive oil
1 green onion, minced
2 T minced celery
1 T minced parsley
1 lb. large cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined, chilled
Process 1st 3 ingredients until almost a puree. Stir in remaining ingredients up to olive oil. Using a wire whisk slowly add olive oil til well blended. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the minced green onion, celery and parsley. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, shred romaine lettuce and spread about 1/2 c. on each of 4 chilled salad plates. Arrange shrimp on top. Cover with remoulade sauce. Garnish with a slice of lemon and serve. Serves 4.
Note: Only Creole mustard will work in this recipe. Zatarain's in an excellent brand which is stocked by one of my local grocery stores in California.
This makes a great light summer meal with a boiled artichoke and some crusty bread.