I'm a sucker for large food gatherings involving propane tanks and large outdoor cooking apparatuses, and so when I found out that part of my responsibilities as an American Association of Malaysia board member would be overseeing the AAM's annual shrimp boil, it seemed like the universe was telling me that I did something good and right, and that I was being rewarded with such a gig.
I I made the sauce and the card; the hubby wrote it for me.
I didn't do any of the heavy lifting when it came to cooking, mainly because there's a fairly large contingency of born-and-bred Louisianans living here in Kuala Lumpur. I moved here having no idea that the oil industry in Malaysia brings Louisianans and Texans to Southeast Asia in droves, but it's been comforting meeting them and having the opportunity to wax philosophic about barbecue and other Southern foods. The Louisianans have been leading the charge in cooking the boil for about four years now, and they are a well-oiled machine when it comes to producing tasty boil for the mass of Americans that turn out for the event. Therefore, my food contributions were in the sauce arena, grating about 4 pounds of fresh horseradish to be used in cocktail sauce and also making remoulade (pictured above).
I used to make remoulade back in law school for crab cake night. Before your mind starts wandering with a million questions, I'll just go ahead and tell you that crab cake night was typically a night where I ate alone, in my little hovel of an apartment, because the grocery store around the corner from my house would sell a single one to me as opposed to making me buy a pound, which usually meant I'd get 2 or 3 crab cakes and be unable to finish them while they were still fresh. It wasn't my proudest moment, standing in my kitchen and devouring single lonely crab cake, but at least it's cathartic sharing this little anecdote with you now.
Back then, a remoulade sauce might take me about a half-hour to prepare, and I'd make it from scratch, with a raw egg and oil as the base. For this event, though, I didn't really love the idea of serving up raw eggs in 90 degree-plus heat to a large group of people. In addition, preparing any sort of multiple-ingredient American dish here in Kuala Lumpur is not without its challenges. All sorts of American products are available here, but you might have to pay a price for them. One time, I got an irrational craving for strawberries and bought a box imported from Driscoll's in the US. After popping one in my mouth, I realized I had paid almost $20 for the right to be holding that pint. Yikes.
Anyway, I searched and searched online for a large group-friendly recipe with affordable ingredients readily available here, and finally found one on a food discussion board that I thought would work. A couple of trial runs and adaptations later, the recipe below is what I ended up with. It's made to feed 170 remoulade-hungry people; I think I probably could have cut the recipe in half and still had enough sauce for everyone. When I get a chance, I'll update this post with a smaller scale recipe, although large-scale recipes haven't deterred me before.
Remoulade Sauce for an Army
1 gallon (approximately 3.75
1 cup Dijon mustard
10 ounces (approximately 1 standard can) tomato paste
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
5 ounces (approximately 1 bottle) Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons Old Bay or Cajun seasoning
1 cup shallot, minced
4 cups minced dill pickle**
4 cups green onion, minced
1 cup parsley, minced
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
Combine all ingredients using an immersion blender. Refrigerate overnight until serving. Serve immediately to at least 150 people.
* Locally, I used Heinz mayonnaise because it was substantially cheaper than Hellman's, and added more salt to compensate for the sweetness in the mayo.
** I substituted dill pickles for capers, because capers are so expensive here. However, I think you could use about 2 cups of capers if you wanted and achieve the same tart/tangy effect.