An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Dropping by Coop’s Place- and Catfish Meunière Recipe

Dropping by Coop’s Place- and Catfish Meunière Recipe

By on Sep 9, 2011, 6:54 pm in Food and Drink, Painperdu Blog, Recipes-Savory, Restaurants, Travel | 8 comments

Coop's-Place-(cover)

Coop’s Place is nothing fancy – just a dive with great food and low prices on their wines by the glass. It’s frequented by locals- the French Quarter characters one of my aunts still calls “hippies” (another friend refers to them as French Quarter rats), as well as working people from the nearby Central Business District, and tourists. I was first introduced to Coop’s Place on the first post-flood Mardi Gras, where we were entertained by a nimble server snaking his way through the standing room only joint with arms stacked full of plates. 

 

When I was last at Coop’s, there was a house kitty lounging lazily on a wide window sill above me-Stella-I thought that was quite an appropriate name for a French Quarter cat. I regretted that I didn’t get a pic of Stella, so was hoping to get one this time around.

 

I asked my waitress where she was today.

 

“Unfortunately” the waitress responded “some assholes around Mardi Gras (no doubt a dig at tourists) complained about her. She retired to a house down the street with a nice courtyard.” I don’t know, I kind of like the idea of a cat in a restaurant, I’m thinking. Keeps the rodents away, at least. Then she added “but she still shows up on Sundays sometimes, when the regulars come for brunch.”

 

BTW, just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the servers, are part of Coop’s charm-even their Website refers to the bartenders as “snarky”. Although there are “Be Nice or Leave” signs in many restaurants around the city, the one at Coop’s reads “Be Nice or Starve”. Fortunately, I’ve never starved at Coop’s, and this time the waitresses let me hang out most of the afternoon, taking advantage of New Orleans very enlightened free wireless policy. All of the businesses in the Quarter and the Central Business District share free wireless internet access, in fact, you can most times pick up one of their networks just sitting out on the sidewalk.

 

At Bayona:

Bayona

 

 

At Satsuma:

Satsuma

 

 

At Coop’s Place:

Coop's Place
 

Coop’s menu is full of New Orleans classics like Gumbo, Po’Boys, Shrimps Remoulade and Creole, Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, even old time dishes like Oxtail Stew.

 

I really like their great version of dish Chicken Tchoupitoulas (a Paul Prudhomme creation), a real deal still priced at $13.95, and last time had another redfish dish, but this time I went for the Redfish Meunière. Fish with Meunière Sauce is one of those dishes you see all over New Orleans, with redfish, trout, catfish, whatever fresh Gulf region fish is available. It’s one of the dishes on the combo plate I always pick up at Jazz Fest. The version Coop’s served me is a little heavy on the Worcestershire sauce for my taste, though, so when I returned home, I thought it was about time to try my hand at Meunière Sauce.

 

When I started searching through recipes, however, I realize that maybe there’s a reason I’ve never made it before. The recipes vary widely. One is made with only seafood stock, one with beef stock, and another recommends either beef or veal stock.  Some have up to a half cup of Worcestershire sauce, and some have none. The amount of butter in each recipe varies a lot, too, and a couple are made with a roux, one with only a beurre manié to thicken it. One sautés a mirepoix first, a couple just boil the veggies with the stock, and one just skips them altogether. It’s served both with pecans and without.

 

Ah well, this is the version I came up with for today. I used a combination of shrimp stock because I had a cup of it thawed out, and a half cup of veal stock from a concentrated base to complete the amount needed. I can see where the beef stock would be good, though, giving it that hefty depth I find so appealing in some versions of the sauce. There’s always next time…

 

Recipe follows:

    8 Comments

  1. Why doesn’t LA have food like this?? GREG

    Sippitysup

    September 9, 2011

  2. So nice to see your blog and some of your recipes. Stella was good when I saw her in April. Still tiny but thoroughly enjoying her courtyard.

    Judi

    September 10, 2011

  3. Yum! I have to try this, but I wonder, any possibility Old Bay can be substituted for Chef Paul’s seasoning?

    It would be fun to a have snark-off, between Coop’s and Peter Luger’s waitstaff! People go there just to be verbally abused!

    Ronnie Campbell

    September 16, 2011

  4. @ Ronnie- feel free to use the seasoning of your choice. It’s obviously a flexible recipe!

    Gisele aka LA2LAChef

    September 23, 2011

  5. With food like that who wouldn’t be nice? GREG

    sippitysup

    September 23, 2011

  6. Are those grits in the background of that pic? Yum! I made Trout Almondine a million years ago, but this combination of catfish and pecans (with grits!) is calling my name now!

    Lynn

    October 7, 2011

  7. @Lynn- no they are smashed potatoes, a really simple but yummy dish, I’ll have to share the recipe to one of these days. But grits would be great , too.

    Gisele aka LA2LAChef

    October 7, 2011

  8. we miss seeing Stella. I drive 1 hour to go eat their regularly, for one my dog is welcome and second the food is amazing!! Keep up the good work!

    Dawn Elizabeth LeBoeuf

    October 13, 2011

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