500BestSquareShrimp Arnaud @ Arnaud’s

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The best version of shrimp remoulade in New Orleans has a lot of history, some of it a little nutty. It was created by one of Count Arnaud’s chefs in the early days of the restaurant, following a common formula of the day. This Creole remoulade was very different from the French classic of the same name. It was an oily marinade with paprika, Creole mustard, green onions, and little else. Arnaud’s sauce still contains a great deal of oil, emulsified with the other ingredients to make a sauce both powerful and rich.

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When the Count’s daughter Germaine sold the restaurant to Archie Casbarian in 1978, she retained the rights to the remoulade sauce. For a time, her personal chef made and bottled it for the restaurant. After she died, a brief interval passed when a puzzled banker, in charge of Germaine’s trust, had to make the sauce himself. Finally, the restaurant bought full rights to the recipe. It’s the one thing at Arnaud’s that never changes.

There’s more to this essential appetizer than just the sauce. They undercook the shrimp when they boil them, and let the acidity of the sauce finish the cooking. That may be the step that makes shrimp Arnaud so distinctive. Unless it’s the unfettered sharpness of the ingredients.

Arnaud’s. French Quarter: 813 Bienville. 504-523-5433.

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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