For years my introduction to this page said, "Are you kidding? My mom would slit my throat if she thought I was giving out her shrimp rémoulade recipe. It's the best in the world, better than I've had in many of Louisiana's finest restaurants."

Actually, I did add my own few touches to Mom's recipe, and though I once apparently was so arrogant as to declare that it's proprietary I've decided that it's time to share. (Ssh. Don't tell her.)

Also, in the delightfully appalling New Orleans accent, you're less likely to hear a classical French pronunciation, and more likely to hear it pronounced as "RUM-a-lawd." Oh well.

Chuck's Mom's Shrimp Rémoulade

Combine the first 12 ingredients in a blender, and add 1/2 cup each of the green onions and celery. Blend at high speed until puréed. Scrape the sides down and blend a few seconds more.

Place into a container, and fold in the remaining 1/4 cup each of green onions and celery. Allow to stand overnight in the refrigerator so that the flavors may blend. Makes 2 cups remoulade sauce.

Place a bed of butter lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Slice each Roma tomato and arrange on the side of the lettuce. Place one stalk of asparagus on each plate, protruding out to the side of the plate. Top with 6 shrimp, arranging them attractively. Sauce the shrimp generously with the remoulade sauce.

YIELD: 8 servings.

For variety's sake, here are a couple of other (and somewhat different) recipes, beginning with Chef John Folse's recipe for shrimp remoulade as he serves it in his magnificent Donaldsonville, Louisiana restuaruant, Lafitte's Landing; also, the remoulade recipe from Tujague's Restaurant in the French Quarter. (Chef Folse is one of my heroes; I've learned a tremendous amount from him, and I bow to his vast knowledge and expertise ... but I'm still a bit partial to my remoulade!)

Chef John Folse's Shrimp Rémoulade

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the above ingredients, whisking well to incorporate the seasonings. Once blended, cover and place in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. A minimum of four hours will be required for flavor to be developed. When ready, remove from refrigerator and adjust seasonings to taste. Place six shrimp on a leaf of romaine or other colored lettuce and spoon a generous serving of remoulade sauce on top of the shrimp. Do not sauce shrimp prior to service, as they will lose their firm texture. Serves 6.

Here's the shrimp remoulade recipe from the 131-year-old Tujague's Restaurant, on Decatur Street in the French Quarter.

Tujague's Shrimp Rémoulade

Mix the first seven ingredients in a glass bowl. Chill in the refrigerator 4 hours. In a large pot, bring the water, crab boil and salt to a full boil. Add shrimp. When the water returns to the boil, turn off the heat and let the shrimp sit for 5 minutes to absorb the seasonings. Drain the shrimp, cool and then peel them. Place 6 shrimp on a plate lined with shredded lettuce and top with 4 tablespoons of the sauce. Repeat 5 more times. Serves 6.


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Chuck Taggart   email chuck (at) gumbopages (dot) com