Sometimes the best plans are when you just let go and wait for everything to fall into place.
Last weekend a friend of mine threw a dinner party and I jumped at the opportunity to cook something – or everything. When I asked what everyone was in the mood for, another friend suggested Cajun.
So I made plans to make the quintessential Cajun dish: Jambalaya. I’ve been to New Orleans and I can honestly say that the best Jambalaya I had there was at Coop’s Place, a nice little dive where the food is pretty amazing. I remember ordering the rabbit and andouille sausage Jambalaya and it was to die for. So, since I decided to recreate something that was etched in my culinary memory, I did the same with the appetizer and dessert I wanted to prepare. I tried to remember my favorite restaurant in New Orleans and what I had. It came to me in a flash! Dick and Jenny’s fried cornmeal oysters and pumpkin pie with caramelized pecans and bourbon whip cream.
So I diligently did some research in my Creole cookbook and got to work.
On the day of the dinner party, I recieved a frantic call from my friend saying that he wanted to serve fresh seafood, but his seafood purveyor didn’t have the lobsters and crabs he wanted to serve (I know, who has their own seafood purveyor?) Anyway, he said he had ordered sashimi. So a Cajunese (what happens when you mix Cajun and Japanese) dinner party was born.
I nixed the cornmeal fried oysters and made panko fried oysters instead. We had some Negroni as cocktails, then came the sashimi with the remoulade and soy sauce, (why not?) and jambalaya served in Japanese bowls with chopsticks. And for dessert the pumpkin-pecan tart with bourbon whip cream.
Oh, and we paired all this with Mezcal, just to add more confusion.
I would have loved to have an authentic jazzy blues playlist, but the reality is that the Mezcal got the better of us and we listened to this: