Laisez les Bon Temps Remoulade!

By Angela Denstad Stigeler

The good people of New Orleans are not the sort to sulk in turbulent times, so in support of their tornado-torn town and the people there who persevere against the odds, let’s bring a little of their Creole cheer into a dreary February. A flavorful shrimp boil with the iconic remoulade sauce will heat up a belated Valentine’s meal (make just half a batch to serve two), or give a welcome reprieve from winter’s warmer fare to any quick meal or casual gathering. As the Mardi Gras celebrations kick off in earnest next week, this meal will feel like a celebration. And the good news is you can keep right on cooking it up all through Lent if you want to.

If you like a little spice, this sauce might just become your new favorite condiment. Use it for all things fried, especially seafood; try it on a sandwich, or just use it to dress up any bits of leftovers from meats to vegetables. Although the ingredient list seems to go on and on, it’s simple to whip up, so go ahead and laisez les bon temps rouler with this classic shrimp and remoulade.

Chilled Shrimp with Remoulade

Remoulade

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 small shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt

Shrimp

1 gallon water

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

4 bay leaves

1 small onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 head of garlic, halved crosswise

1 large thyme sprig

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon ground coriander

24 jumbo shrimp, shells cut down the back and veins removed

6 cups baby arugula leaves or other tender salad greens

Combine all of the remoulade ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well.

In a large pot, combine all of the other ingredients except the shrimp and arugula and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Uncover, add the shrimp and bring back to a simmer. Cover, remove the pot from the heat and let stand until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 10 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked shrimp to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the shrimp until chilled.

Peel the shrimp. Line a platter with the arugula and arrange the shrimp on top. Serve with the remoulade sauce.

The remoulade sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; the cooked shrimp can be refrigerated overnight and peeled shortly before serving.

Recipe adapted from John Besh as published in Food & Wine, December 2007.