Time to share one of my warm weather entertaining essentials, Rémoulade Sauce. For you curious non-New Orleanians out there, Rémoulade Sauce originated in France and found its way across the pond to New Orleans via our early French inhabitants. That French version consisted of a cold white sauce of mayonnaise spiked with the likes of mustard, gherkins, capers, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs and chopped herbs. The sauce was used primarily as an accompaniment to cold meat, fish and shellfish. It was unique and tasty but, over time, was enhanced by local ingredients and emerging cooking styles. In other words, it was Creolized. Some of those Creolized versions, like the Rémoulade Sauce served at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the Peppermill and the Rusty Pelican, are closer to the French version with their mayo base. They’re what we call white rémoulade. Others, like those created at Galatoire’s and Commander’s Palace, to name a few, reflect a heavier Creole spin. They’re typically made with oil and vinegar, some type of tomato product (usually ketchup) and plenty of paprika. That style is referred to as red rémoulade. There are other similarities and differences between the two and even within each style. But the common denominator among almost all New Orleans rémoulades is Creole mustard. That’s the one ingredient that separates ours from the old French style. My recipe tends to fall in the middle of a white and red rémoulade since it contains both mayonnaise and ketchup. As such, I like to refer to it as a pink rémoulade. That may not impress many of the old-school Creole cooks, but it’s delicious nonetheless and always makes my guests happy.
As far as how and when to serve this sauce, let your imagination guide you. This sauce will liven up any dish. For a little inspiration, consider plating it with plump and juicy boiled shrimp, spooning it over blackened fish, using it as a condiment on fried seafood poor boys, serving it as a dipping sauce for steamed artichokes, French fries or onion rings, spreading it on fried green tomatoes or using it to dress a salad.
Rémoulade Sauce Recipe
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl; stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Sauce will keep for a week in a tightly sealed container. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.