About this time last year I found myself unexpectedly in New Orleans. I’d never been, in fact it was never on the top of my to-do list, and yet suddenly I had an entire week to live like a local right off the French Quarter. Charmed doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about that city. It’s enchanting, mysterious and full of unexpected surprises…it is intoxicating, even if you choose not to walk around cross eyed with a 5 foot frozen hurricane.
Where there are too many highlights to list – a favorite moment, and one that I would repeat twice on my visit, was escaping the thick humid air and sitting at the bar of the Napoleon House over a cold Pimms Cup…and a crisp shrimp Remoulade salad.
It’s impossible to try and replicate that experience back home, so I was inspired to re-create the experience with a playful Los Angeles twist… infusing bold Korean flavors with some french ideas… and you best believe there’s kimchi involved.
Korean Style Shrimp & Avocado Remoulade Boats
*Makes 4 boats
4 Large avocados
1/4 cup shredded radicchio
½ cup cooked bay shrimps
1/4 cup flat parsley
Korean Style Remoulade Sauce
6 tablespoons pickled mustard seeds
3 Tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Gochujiang Hot Pepper Paste (or sambal oelek)
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or veganaise)
1/3 cup kimchi cucumbers, diced
Sauce can be prepared in advance. To quick pickle mustard seeds, cover seeds in rice vinegar for at least 20 minutes and then drain. Cut avocado in a 1/3 split to create a deep shell cup. Mix diced avocado, shrimp, radicchio and parsley in a bowl and toss in remoulade sauce. Stuff mixture into avocado shell and top with additional parsley.
The Negroni cocktail has exploded over this past year becoming an eye-roll worthy overly trendy drink. I’ve been enjoying this cocktail for years and you can’t turn me away from it’s bitter bite. A favorite variation is the “White Negroni”, which swaps out Campari with a French bitter aperitif, Suze. It’s a surprisingly refreshing update and perfectly paired to cut down on the heat of the Remoulade Cups.
White Negroni Cocktail
2 oz. gin
1 1/2 oz. Italian Aperitif Wine (Suggested: Cocchi Americano)
1 1/2 oz. Suze French Bitters
Mix gin, Cocchi Americano and Suze. Stir. Serve over one large ice cube or straight up. Squeeze orange rind on top and rub glass rim with its oils.
A little playful marriage between french ingredients and Korean flavors. The remoulade cups are tart, bitter and spicy while the cocktail gives a nice palate cleanser between bites. And where I realize this by no means will transport you back to the bustling quirky establishments of New Orleans, it will most definitely transport you into a unique happy hour at home filled with just as many surprises.
Laissez les bon temps rouler indeed!