Ocean Trail is a tiny circular bar/restaurant situated in the incredibly smoky Talking Stick Casino in Phoenix. There is only seating for about twelve people at a time, so everyone stares at you from the line while you eat (there’s nothing uncomfortable about that at all). Their feature dishes are Cajun staples like gumbo, etouffee and pan roasts. We discovered Cajun Power’s Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce at this bar, and it is unreal. You could put it on an old Timberland boot and it would still be delicious.
After eating at Ocean Trail two nights in a row, we knew we needed to find a duplicate recipe so we could have it at home. We found one that was incredibly easy to make and my version is pictured here. We got finessed at the supermarket and bought fake San Marzano tomatoes, which are a key ingredient. Full disclosure, the can said “S.M.”, but when you looked closely it stood for San America. This couldn’t top Ocean Trail but we came pretty close-our dish captured all the right notes of brandy, clam juice, white wine and shallot.