INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup cooking oil of choice, plus 3 ounces more (3/8 cup) for making optional roux

1/2 cup flour (optional, for roux)

2 pounds peeled, defrosted (if frozen) crawfish tails (or peeled raw shrimp)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 bunch scallions, whites only, chopped

1/2 bell pepper, any color, chopped

2 teaspoons minced parsley

Minced garlic (at least 3 tablespoons or 6 large cloves)

1/2 small can (8-ounce) tomato sauce

Boiled rice

1. If you want a thicker version of this dish, pour 3 ounces of oil into a heavy skillet, heat a little, add flour, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the roux is toast-brown. Set aside, off heat.

2. Pour 4 ounces oil (1/2 cup) into a cast-iron skillet or similar heavy pot, add the crawfish, salt, pepper, and cayenne and cook over high heat until the water is gone, stirring frequently. (If using frozen tails, this may take 25 minutes. If using shrimp, don’t cook longer than 10 minutes.)

3. Add onion, scallions, bell pepper, parsley, and garlic to crawfish (and optional roux, if using). Lower heat to medium-high and cook 7 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Add tomato sauce and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 cup water, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Serve immediately over boiled rice.

WHAT THE CREOLE EATS

STANLEY JACKSON’S SCALLOPS BIENVILLE

Serves 2.

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

3/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 pound dried fettuccine or linguini

1/2 pound scallops (or small oysters, or a combination)

1/2 stick unsalted butter

3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 large cloves)

1 cup heavy cream

1. Mix first eight ingredients and set aside. (Recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons of this mixture. Save remainder for next time.) Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of spice mixture over scallops. Toss to distribute.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain, rinse in warm water, and set aside.

3. Melt butter over high heat in 10-inch skillet. Immediately add scallops and sauté one minute, stirring often. Add garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of spice mixture. Add cream and cook over high heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Add pasta, toss, and serve.

Chateau Orleans

  • 1.5 stars
  • (Fair to Good)

926 Turquoise Street near Cass Street, Pacific Beach, 858-488-6744, chateauorleans.com.

HOURS: Wednesday–Saturday, 6:00–10:00 p.m., Sunday champagne jazz brunch 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

PRICES: Appetizers, $7–$16; entrée salads, $10–$17; entrées, $12–$31.

CUISINE AND BEVERAGES: Cajun, Creole, and Southern dishes. Reasonable wine list, enough by the glass; numerous Louisiana and Southern beers; full bar.

PICK HITS: Texas cornbread; crawfish bisque; “purple fries” (fried eggplant appetizer); Cajun popcorn (fried crawfish tail meat); red beans and rice; gumbo.

NEED TO KNOW: Live music Thursday through Saturday. Wednesdays, wines 50 percent off; Thursdays, 50 percent off champagne, discounted hurricanes and margaritas. Four lacto-vegetarian entrées, one vegan.

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Comments

Bayou Bengal July 1, 2008 @ 9:41 a.m.

Your review was right on the money! My family and I, all New Orleans natives, are usually very hesitant to even try any restauraunt that claims to serve "Cajun" or "Creole" or god forbid "Cajun/Creole" (there is no such thing, as you know, they are very different)so we went into Chateau Orleans with less than high hopes and, yep, we were right. New Orleans style food, or any food from the great state of Louisiana is not just about beads and Mardi Gras colors, or Abita beer and jazz music...it is about the food. The ingredients, the preparation and the presentaion as well as all the above mentioned make the food so good and so special. Chateau fell VERY short and we wonder if anyone there has ever even been to New Orleans. We felt like inviting the owner and chef to our house so they could get a taste of REAL CAJUN cooking. Then and only then could the chef/owner understand what is going wrong with their restaraunt. Anyway, they must stay in business because so many people are misled to think that boxed Zatarains is real Cajun food like Taco Bell is real Mexican food. Then there is the prices...OUTRAGEOUS!!! $12 for a bowl of red beans and rice?!?! I can make enough for 10 people for $12, and make it taste better as well. Anyway, your review was excellent and I hope they heed your advice...my sister and mother and I would be happy to go and show the chef/owner how to make the food right, save money and increase business in one night with our family recipes. Keep up the excellent work, we love your column.

Regards, Lee "Andouille" Edler

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scole35 July 1, 2008 @ 2:37 p.m.

Hello, just wanted to comment on our visit to Chateau New Orleans. I, too, have visited this wonderful little place with congenial atmosphere hard to beat but sorely lacking in really good genuine southern food. It amazes me how one can take a simple humble dish like red beans and rice and make it taste like it came right out of the box. I am afraid the shipping costs and compromising on the quality of taste has undermine the true value of our southern culture. That must be the only reason I can think of for them to spoil such with resorting to box items instead of fresh foods. In times past, nothing pleased me more to have people taste the humbleness of such simple dishes like red beans and rice, grits, gumbo, jambalaya, and etoufee out of my kitchen and just go crazy over it. Grant you, some dishes take more work but hey, it is worth it. Come on, how can you fix any of these dishes with nothing but the real thing, not something out of boxes. It has always been a time honored saying as far as Cajun dishes or Creole, what have you, to have only the best as far as indgredients go. I don't know about you but it really is a shame that someone can't go in and help out that poor owner of Chateau New Orleans. Anybody from the real south will do. We have different flavors all over that geographical area of Louisiana but anyone from there will certainly improve the quality of those dishes. And last but not least, do the prices need to be that high for such humble dishes. I can understand if you are getting genuine andouille sausage from Louisiana and fresh red beans that cook up in no time compared to some of these beans brought here from who knows where.Also the seafood prices grant you are not cheap either. But really, now, give us a break on the prices, huh? Love to chat more but I think you covered it all in your excellent review. By the way, there is a place here that I want to try next, called the SandCrab or something like it and just a couple blocks from where I live right here in San Marcos and run by a family from Florida. Heard it was good from my neighbors but of course, I need to try it out for myself since my neighbors don't come from the south, lol. Have you heard of it and if so, what are your comments about it. Would like to know.

Also raised Cajun Stacia "Cajun Mama" Cole

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Naomi Wise July 2, 2008 @ 5:24 p.m.

Thanks, both of you, for telling it like it is. Maybe the new owner will take it seriously if he hears it from a lot of people. I wouldn't mind the prices so much if the food were better and more authentic. Hey, Orleans-Guy, Owner! Yo! If you want to use the recipes I gave at the end of that piece, you go right ahead. I won't hold you to copywright laws. I'm sure my friend Marc Savoy, as a Cajun folklorist, would love it if you used his authentic recipe in place of the bulls--- recipe you're currently using.

Stacia -- I've been to Sand Crab. It's great fun! But the one downside is: No melted butter. It's margarine. However, if you BYOButter, they'll melt it for you.

--Naomi Wise

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sdaints July 8, 2008 @ 12:31 p.m.

I have been meaning to let you know how much I enjoyed this review. You saved me a trip from trying mediocre New Orleans style food, which I am always interested in finding, being a New Orleans native. I was always skeptical of this place considering its location. More importantly, your references to some of the great restaurants and foods that New Orleans has to offer evoked some fond memories and temporarily brought me back home.

Jonathan

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pilote Oct. 6, 2008 @ 3:32 p.m.

I just went to this place for Sunday Brunch. I love Cajun food, so I was very much looking forward to their Cajun buffet. What a disappointment! What they are calling a Louisiana Gumbo is far from it; isn't a gumbo suppose to be in a roux? I'd call it either Louisiana Soup or Pacific Beach Gumbo. It's not that it was bad, it's just that it wasn't GUMBO.

And their implementation of a beignet needs more attention; they are suppose to be light & crisp little dougnuts, not rocky boulders with a haphazard sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Can anybody in SD make me a good red beans and rice meal at a beans and rice price?

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Sheryl Oct. 13, 2008 @ 9:52 a.m.

There's a Cajun restaurant in Old Town -- adjacent to the Whaley House -- called the New Orleans Creole Cafe. I didn't think it was great -- but I didn't think it was bad either. I actually want to go back and try a few more things on the menu -- since the first time I went I was in a bit of a time crunch -- so it was quick and we only ordered a couple of things. It's a cute place with some outside seating with a view of a quaint courtyard and the Whaley House beyond. I would be interested in hearing if anyone else has gone to this restaurant and what they thought about the food.

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