Coop’s is our go-to place in The Big Easy. The hip little dive bar on Decateur is anchored by a giant church pew, and made homey by a little cat in the window. The service is fast, the music is good, and the bartenders are a little wild. Opened by Jeffrey “Coop” Cooperman, an avid fisherman, in 1983, Coop’s is truly a local hangout.
The must-order dishes are deep-fried crab claws served with a fiery horseradish cocktail sauce and jambalaya made with chicken, sausage and rabbit, and the killer Pasta Opelousas.
The combo plate is a good choice for trying the jambalaya, along with crispy fried chicken. It looks overcooked in the photo, but it’s just right.
The Pasta Opelousas is the best thing on the menu, linguine in a spicy cream sauce with shrimp, tasso, and green beans
We love Coop’s so much, we return for a second and even third visit on every trip to New Orleans. On our second visit, we split the crab claws (Yes, again – I cannot get enough of them) and tried the Chicken Tchoupitoulas, chicken with tasso and shrimp in a heavy cream sauce
COOP’S PASTA OPELOUSAS
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
4 oz. boneless chicken, cut into 1” pieces
2 oz. tasso, chopped
4 shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. white wine
3 oz. shrimp
2 oz. heavy cream
½ tsp Bayou Blend (see below)
3 oz. green beans
6 oz. cooked fettuccine
2 Tbsp. green onions, minced
Heat oil. Add garlic, chicken, tasso, and mushrooms. Saute 2 minutes.
Deglaze pan with white wine. Stir until wine reduces to 1 Tablespoon.
Add shrimp and saute for 2 minutes.
Add heavy cream and Bayou Blend. Cook until liquid thickens.
Add green beans. Simmer 1 minute. Add fettuccine to the pan. Mix well. Serve garnished with green onions.
COOP’S BAYOU SPICE BLEND
4 parts Salt
3 parts Cayenne pepper
3 parts Ground Black Pepper
3 parts Granulated garlic
2 parts MSG
1 part Ground cumin
1 part Paprika
Do not substitute.
(both recipes from “Cookin With Coop” Chuck Rogers Publishing)