On this date in 1911, Thomas Lanier Williams lll entered the world. He had an adventurous but difficult life and adopted the nome de plume “Tennessee” which is how he remembered today.
Tennessee Williams worked a string of meaningless and mindless jobs so that he could focus on his writing. He received a $1000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and with it moved to New Orleans.
His first hit was A Glass Menagerie which brought him a New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award for Best Play of the Season.
But it was his next work, the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Streetcar Named Desire, that ensured his global renown. Over his career, Tennessee Williams gathered two more Pulitzer Prizes, three New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, three Donaldson Awards, and a Tony Award.
Williams traveled extensively, but claimed his spiritual home as New Orleans, and often called it his muse.
His favorite restaurant, Galatoire’s, they always kept the same table ready for him, next to a window, overlooking the hustle and bustle Bourbon Street. One could find him there often, with an Old Fashioned firmly in hand.
In his Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Streetcar Named Desire, the leading character Blanche DuBois takes her sister Stella out one evening to Galatoire’s.
One can still dine at Galatoire’s, it has been in existence since 1905. Known for its seafood, the most popular item on the menu is the Shrimp Rémoulade.
It is bit of throwback as far as gourmands are concerned, but it is delicious and worth trying. It would be a great addition to a spring or summer picnic, just dress the shrimp onsite.
For me personally, I serve the sauce separately, in place of generic cocktail sauce. It is a welcome change and makes a very fine party platter.
Do note, the sauce is best when made a day in advance and refrigerated overnight.
¾ cup chopped celery
¾ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
½ cup chopped curly parsley
1 cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup ketchup
½ cup tomato purée
½ cup Creole mustard or any coarse, grainy brown mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or to taste
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Spanish hot paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup salad oil
4 dozen jumbo (15 count) shrimp, peeled, boiled, and chilled
1 small head of iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and cut into thin ribbons
Mince the celery, scallions, parsley, and onions in a food processor. Add the ketchup, tomato puree, Creole mustard, horseradish, red wine vinegar, paprika, and Worcestershire. Begin processing again and add the oil in a slow drizzle to emulsify. Stop when the dressing is smooth. Chill for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Correct the seasoning with additional horseradish, if desired, after the ingredients have had the opportunity to marry.
In a large mixing bowl, add the sauce to the shrimp and toss gently to coat. Divide the lettuce among 6 chilled salad plates. Divide the shrimp evenly atop the lettuce and serve.