French cuisine underwent numerous alterations in the professional kitchens of New Orleans. One of the most obvious examples of that, to my mind, is in the dishes named rémoulade. Classically, in France, this is nothing more than a mayonnaise to which chopped capers, those small sour pickles known as cornichons, chopped herbs including parsley, tarragon, chervil, and chives, plus anchovy paste, are added. The New Orleans version is more elaborate and contains horseradish, finely chopped celery, and scallions, among other things. This also brings to mind the thought that when New Orleans recipes call for shallots—one of the most widely used seasonings in classic and home kitchens—they generally mean scallions or green onions. Apparently, genuine shallots were not available to the early French settlers—chefs—in New Orleans and green onions were used as a substitute. To make a genuine shrimp rémoulade, New Orleans style, it is also imperative that you use Creole mustard, not ballpark American or Dijon-style.
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.