On our Ask The Chef segment, Lincoln Owens from MeMe’s in Chalmette called in to talk about some tricks he learned about Louisiana food when he moved here from California.
He went from serving up foam on a plate in the kitchen at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills to understanding what we mean when we say bordelaise down here in Louisiana. Everywhere else it means a rich French sauce that sometimes has marrow, but here it’s garlic and butter or olive oil. Maybe both.
Lincoln fondly remembers discovering our version of bordelaise and how to amp it up with Crystal Hot Sauce and Worcestershire. It sounds like it’s his own personal Trinity. The chargrilled oysters at MeMe’s start with those basic ingredients and splinter off into other versions, like an Asian one that includes Sambal, and a Rockefeller that is so good he’s been asked to bake it without oysters.
His passion for chargrilled oysters started when he first moved here and got some from the Drago’s fire truck at the Lakeview Farmer’s Market. He spent all the cash he and his wife had brought on them. When he got to Meme's, the idea that the oysters he was using had just come off a boat nearby and only a few hours ago thrilled him in a way he had not experienced.
The recipe he gave us is for a Creole tomato version of this same basic bordelaise. He is not surprised the Creole tomatoes are harvested just down the road. The first time he had those was an epiphany as well. He remembers biting into one that first time and realizing that it didn’t need anything. Yes, spices might make it better but it was just great as is.
The recipe below uses our basic bordelaise, and Creole tomatoes. And as expected, it’s great on anything.
2 cups diced Creole tomatoes
3-4tbs unsalted butter
1 heaping tbs minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
3tbs Worcestershire sauce
2tbs crystal hot sauce
1 tbs fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté tomatoes, butter, garlic, and lemon juice over medium heat.
After butter melts add Worcestershire and crystal, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Then bring up to a low simmer and cut off heat.
Add fresh parsley and stir, great as a topping over scallops or your favorite fish or chicken dish.