Gabriel Rucker, chef/owner of Le Pigeon, entertains patrons with his amazing culinary skills almost every night from the cozy, open kitchen. He doesn't often throw dinner parties, but he told the Mercury "the last three times I tried to make box macaroni and cheese for my friend, Jacob, I fucked it up royally." Hopefully, your experience will be much better with his prawns and spicy remoulade. Share it in lieu of boxed mac and cheese at your next get-together.

PRAWNS WITH SPICY REMOULADE

FOR THE PRAWNS:

5 lb. large prawns, peeled, tails on 1 bottle white wine 2 lemons, halved 2 tbs. cayenne 1 cup pickling spice mix 1/4 cup salt 3 quarts water

Mix all ingredients, except the prawns, in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add prawns and cook until meat is still slightly opaque in center (just a few minutes). Remove prawns from liquid and lay on a flat surface to finish cooking. Chill for later. FOR REMOULADE:

juice of 1 lemon 1/2 cup white wine vinegar 1/4 cup horseradish 1/4 cup Creole mustard 1/4 cup yellow mustard 2 tbs. paprika 6 cloves garlic 1 tbs. Tabasco 2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce 6 green onions 3 stalks celery 3 eggs 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil salt and pepper Combine ingredients, except oil, salt, and pepper, in a food processor and blend. While blending, slowly drizzle oil in a thin steady stream. Add salt and pepper to taste. TO SERVE:

Place remoulade in a nice bowl and place bowl on a large plate. Arrange prawns around bowl. Allow guests to dip prawns into remoulade. Always have an extra bowl for discarded tails.

RESOURCES

FUBONN SUPERMARKET

Prawns, duck hearts, and just about anything else under the sun can be found at this Asian superstore.

2850 SE 82nd, 517-8877

PACIFIC FISH & OYSTER

The retail arm of the Pacific Seafood Co., these are the folks who stock many of Portland's restaurants. Their space on Powell has just about everything from the sea that you could ever hope for.

3380 SE Powell, 233-4891

CITY MARKET

This hoity-toity specialty market in Northwest Portland is worth the money if you have money to spend. You can be assured that everything here is fresh as hell.

735 NW 21st, 221-3007

Randal St. Clair, executive chef at 50 Plates, has his finger on the pulse of American food. But one of his most memorable party moments happened at an ex-pat Thanksgiving dinner in Australia. "I had prepped everything the night before and it was oven ready," he says, but before cooking he and his friends began drinking a bottle of absinthe that St. Clair had brought back from the Czech Republic. That's when things got strange.

"The next morning (or was it afternoon?), I awoke to a hangover of Wagnerian proportions," St. Clair says. Surveying the scene, he found "an empty absinthe bottle and several empty red wine bottles, an answering machine full of queries asking if I was all right, and as I opened the fridge door, saw everything still ready to go—I had completely forgot to cook anything."

Don't forget to cook what St. Clair calls his Big Butt Dinner Buffet for your next party. Your guests will enjoy pulling their own pork sliders, which according to St. Clair, "sounds like a Savage Love column."

BIG BUTT DINNER BUFFET WITH CHEAP YELLOW MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE

FOR PORK BUTT:

Rub a large boneless pork butt with a spice mixture of equal parts paprika, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, brown sugar, cumin, dry mustard, and a smidge of cayenne. Wrap rubbed butt in plastic and let sit (refrigerated) for a day, if desired. Several hours before your party, place pork butt in a covered pan with one cup of water, cover and roast slowly at 300 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees. Cooking time will vary according to size of pork butt—allow several hours. Remove from oven, wrap in foil and keep warm.

 

FOR CHEAP YELLOW MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE:

1 1/2 cup cheap yellow ballpark-style mustard

1 1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. black pepper, fresh ground

coupla shakes of Tabasco

squeeze of lemon

Combine and bring to a simmer. Simmer about half an hour. Just before serving, whisk in a stick of butter and add some chopped scallions.

 

TO SERVE:

Place pork butt (reheat uncovered to give it a little color if desired) on platter, surround with little dinner rolls from a great bakery, pickles, slaw, and Cheap Yellow Mustard BBQ Sauce (or doctor-up store-bought brands with a little honey and rum). Allow guests to tear off hunks from pork butt and create their own pulled pork sliders.

RESOURCES

VIANDE MEATS & SAUSAGES

Located in City Market, these folks know their way around just about any animal that is dead and edible. Probably the best place to get porked in Portland. Also, they can pretty much score anything with 24 hours notice.

735 NW 21st, 221-3012

OTTO'S SAUSAGE KITCHEN & MEAT

A cult favorite for those who love swine. Not just a butcher shop, Otto's also dishes out some killer dogs. Go ahead and get a snack while you're grabbing your meat.

4138 SE Woodstock, 771-6714

PASTAWORKS

Southeast Portland's answer to City Market. Possibly more hoity-toity than its Northwest cousin, Pastaworks can certainly supply you with all you'll need for an epicurean party.

3735 SE Hawthorne, 232-1010