Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Little Taste of Home

I claim Little Rock and New Orleans as home. Technically, Little Rock is my true home. New Orleans has an equal place in my heart too. I lived there for three years and like most people do, I adopted it!

There are many foods I have to eat when I go to New Orleans, but there are only three restaurants I must visit. I can't remember a place that ever gave me shrimp or gumbo that weren't good, but not everyone makes certain dishes: Cafe du Monde for beignets (you can get those elsewhere, but they don't taste the same), Louisiana Pizza Kitchen for the Greek Pizza and Palace Cafe for Shrimp Tcheufuncte.

This post is about Shrimp Tchefuncte. (I'm so proud I can spell that without looking it up.) I almost died when I saw the Palace Cafe Cookbook at the airport bookstore last year. At long last, I could make this at home! (I never even thought to ask the restaurant for the recipe and I didn't see this book during my French Quarter cookbook trek.)

These are more pictures I found on the memory card in the old camera. I remember that I didn't make the dish perfectly, but it was close enogh to give me some of the flavors. Hence a "little" taste of home.

 Well a shrimp dish starts with shrimp, so here we go. Peel 'em and clean 'em.

Don't you dare throw those shells away! You'll need them for seafood gumbo. I think I see a shrimp peeking through the shells.

Now let's work the Creole meuniere sauce. You'll need lemons, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, heavy cream and butter. Here is where I messed up the recipe. I was trying to make a half recipe. I rememembered to do this for everything but the lemon!

I can't really say if there is a difference among hot sauce brands. In New Orleans there are three, Crystal, Original Louisiana (or Red Dot) and Tobasco. Red Dot is the #1 brand in Little Rock. Tobasco is in a different league compared to the other two in terms of heat. You'll want to use a regular hot sauce for this. Add Tobasco to taste later. I can't speak to Frank's or Texas Pete -- I refuse to buy them!

Now, let's move on to the shrimp. Saute chopped garlic in butter.

Cook until the garlic is golden brown. Add the shrimp, sliced button mushrooms and Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's, please). When the shrimp are almost done, stir in the meunier sauce and chopped green onions.

Cook the shimp all the way through and serve with rice.

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