This year, the lauded New Orleans chef Kristen Essig moved from the Crescent City to the nation’s capital to open Dauphine’s, where she employs mid-Atlantic ingredients to make Louisiana classics, including duck jambalaya and seafood gumbo. Warm up for dinner at the bar with riffs on a St. Charles Punch and Roffignac that come courtesy of the James Beard Award–winning barman Neal Bodenheimer. His drinks make ideal pairings with Essig’s food, such as this shrimp remoulade wedge salad.
“Eating a salad is all about the perfect bite,” Essig says. “The only thing I don’t love about a typical wedge is that nothing really sits on top of the salad because of the cut of the lettuce. So, I like to slice the lettuce into a flat round, which allows you to eat all the components at once.”
The recipe may look involved, mixing up chef Paul Prudhomme’s remoulade recipe and a homemade gribiche sauce before the salad takes shape, but Essig encourages home chefs to try it anyway. “The biggest tip I have is not to overthink the dish,” Essig says. “It’s a salad, so have your components made ahead of time. Assemble right before eating so the lettuce stays crisp.”