Recently Stephanie from A {Modern} Christian Woman posed the question to her readers: “Have you ever tried to recreate a recipe that you tried at a restaurant?”

My answer was yes – Shrimp Remoulade in an Alligator-Pear Pirogue. Though I probably didn’t phrase it that way. “Alligator pear” is what all you non-Louisianans call an “avocado.” A pirogue is something like a canoe.

Of course, I already knew how to make shrimp remoulade, but I had never thought about pouring it into an alligator-pear pirogue as they did that time…

It happened like this: I was in post-apocalyptic post-Katrina New Orleans to take my comprehensive examinations for my master’s degree. It was an eerie time to be in the city (December 2005) because it was still almost completely uninhabited.

One of the few open restaurants at the time was a little café in the French Quarter, The Napoleon House. After passing my exams, my professors wanted to treat me to lunch, so we headed there and looked forlornly at the reduced, post-storm menu. There wasn’t much from which to choose, but it didn’t matter so much when I saw shrimp remoulade sandwiched in between all of the sandwiches. It was served on a bed of crudités atop a halved alligator pear – so delicious and such a welcome treat for the weary.

Since then I’ve recreated it at home, always with the bittersweet memory of the happiness of earning my master’s degree mixed in with the sadness of seeing the suffering of my city.

Here is how I make it:

Yield: 4 servings

Remoulade Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup creole mustard
  • 2 T paprika
  • 1 t cayenne
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 c red wine vinegar
  • dash hot sauce
  • 1/2 c  finely chopped celery
  • 1/c c ketchup
  • 1/2 c yellow mustard
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 3 eggs (I use raw egg substitute.*)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 c vegetable oil

*Because of the salmonella risk, I use a raw egg substitute: 1/2 t baking powder, 1 T white vinegar, 1 T water = 1 raw egg; or, 2 T of ground flax and 1 T water

Mix all of the ingredients and refrigerate. How easy is that??

Now, for the rest of the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined boiled shrimp
  • 4 alligator pears, halved and pitted
  • an array of crudités, according to what you like

Peel and devein a pound of boiled shrimp.

Pour one cup of the remoulade over the shrimp
and marinate for an hour in the refrigerator.

Cut an alligator pear in half and remove the pit.
(In this picture I have used two alligator pears for 1 serving because they were so small.)
Arrange the crudités on the plate.
Spoon 1/4 of the shrimp remoulade over the alligator pears.

Spoon some of the remaining remoulade (that not used to marinate the shrimp) over the vegetables.
There you have it – a very simple, tasty New Orleans summertime meal!

Don’t throw away that leftover remoulade –
it makes a great salad dressing!

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