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Crawfish Etouffee Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

As much as I love the spring Crawfish Boil, I always look forward to having some leftover Crawfish tail meat to play with for later use. After my spring boil I had a fair amount of Crawfish leftover so I sat down with a cold beer after our guests had left, relaxed and picked all of the tail meat as well as the fat from the heads.

This is one of those tasks that is actually a very therapeutic process for me, like peeling shrimp, or making roux, where you can just sit or stand there and enjoy the silence and repetition of the task at hand, let your brain go and think about whatever; kind of like sleep without the bad dreams.

From Nola Cuisine

I ended up with about 2 pounds of tail meat, the perfect amount for a nice batch of Crawfish Etouffee. I made a batch of Crawfish Stock from the shells and vacuum sealed the tails and fat for later use.

From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine

Which brings me to lunch today.

The smell of Crawfish Etouffee or Shrimp Etouffee (my recipe), makes me more nostalgic for Louisiana than any other dish I can think of, even above Gumbo and Red Beans. I arrived home from work tonight to sit down and write this post and was met with the aroma of Etouffee still hanging out in the house, heavenly.

The real key to this recipe as with my Shrimp Etouffee, is the stock. Seafood stocks are simple and require a very short cooking time yielding great results.

This recipe leans a little more to the country than my Shrimp Etouffee Recipe, although they are similar, neither shy with the butter, but this one doesn’t use tomatoes. I hope you enjoy it!

The recipe:

From Nola Cuisine

Crawfish Etouffee Recipe

2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning **Please Note! This recipe is based on my homemade Creole Seasoning! If you use Tony C’s or any others it will turn out much too Salty!!!!)
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
2 lbs Crawfish Tail meat
1/4 Cup Flour
1 1/2 to 2 Cups Crawfish Stock
1/4 Cup Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce (I like Crystal or Louisiana Gold)
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, minced
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet, add the onions, bell pepper, celery, and 1 Tablespoon of the Creole seasoning, saute until translucent. Add the Crawfish tail meat, the remaining Creole seasoning and saute until the tails let off some of their liquid, cook for 3-5 minutes more. Add the flour, stirring constantly for about 3-5 minutes.

Add a small amount of the crawfish stock, stir well to form a paste, add the remaining stock gradually, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. You may need a little more stock, but the end result should be the consistency of a gravy, not too thick, not too thin.
Add the garlic, Thyme, Worcestershire, and hot sauce, a little salt, black pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Add the green onions and parsley, simmer for 5-10 minutes more.

Stir in the 3 Tbsp butter, lemon juice, and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Serve over Creole Boiled Rice.

Serves 4 as an Appetizer or 2 as a large entree.

From Nola Cuisine

Related Posts:

Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
Crawfish Boil Recipe
Crawfish Stock Recipe
Live Louisiana Crawfish Recipe
Shrimp Stock Recipe
Shrimp Creole Recipe

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Crawfish Boil Recipe

From Crawfish Boil

Any spring social event in Louisiana is most definitely going to be centered around a Crawfish Boil. This is a time to relax with family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, and enjoy the bounty of the season, live Louisiana Crawfish.

The magic behind your boil, in my humble opinion, remains in the hands of two details. Fresh, Lively Crawfish, and your cooking liquid.

Crawfish Boil Recipe

15 lbs Live Louisiana Crawfish
4 Large Spanish Onions, quartered
6 Lemons, halved
4 Heads garlic, halved widthwise
8 Fresh Bay Leaves
3 Bags Crab Boil
1 bunch fresh Thyme
1 Cup Creole Seasoning
1/2 Cup Cayenne, or to taste
1 1/2 lbs Kosher Salt
About 5 Gallons of water, or enough to fill a 30 Quart turkey fryer pot 3/4 full
3 lbs Small Redskin Potatoes
6 Ears of Fresh Corn, shucked, trimmed and cut in half

Bring the water to a boil in a 30 quart Turkey fryer pot with the onions, lemons, garlic, bay leaves, crab boil, cayenne and salt. When the mixture reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

From Crawfish Boil

Your crawfish should be picked through for dead ones and placed and washed by first hosing them down, then leaving them in the basket and placing it into a large pot, filling it with water, draining, filling with water, draining, until the remaining water is eventually clean, about 3-4 times. I’m not in the purging with salt camp, I don’t think it does anything more than what I described above.

From Crawfish Boil

While you’re waiting, and this is a very important part of this recipe, drink a few of your favorite ice cold beers and go visit with your company, this is a social event, relax enjoy! Have the washed Redskins waiting in the basket insert nearby and visit. Take advantage of the downtime!

Before adding anything to the pot, taste your cooking liquid! It should taste overly salty and overly spicy. Drink more cold beer, then add your basket insert to the pot with the potatoes. Let cook for 15-20 minutes. After said time has passed add the corn, and cook for about 10 minutes.

From Crawfish Boil

Bring the liquid to a boil and add the live Crawfish.

From Crawfish Boil

Bring the pot back to a boil as quickly as possible, give a good healthy stir and boil for about 5-10 minutes depending on their size.

From Crawfish Boil

Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pot and allow the crawfish to steep in the liquid for 20-30 minutes. The longer they steep, the spicier and more flavorful they will become. When in doubt as to how long to let them steep, pull one out and have a taste! When you’re sure that they are ready, lift the basket and let them drain. When they are well drained dump the contents of the basket onto a picnic table or any outdoor table heavily lined with newspaper.

From Crawfish Boil

Everyone please note, I don’t have any feeling left in my hands from working in the kitchens all these years. The girls were laughing as I was holding the basket with steam blowing off of it, this isn’t a dummy shot, just a big dummy holding a hot pot with bare hands.

From Crawfish Boil

Let your guests belly up to the table and eat until their hearts are content!

Here are some pics from our small but wonderful boil!

From Crawfish Boil
From Crawfish Boil

The full spread, the potatoes and corn take on all of those wonderful flavors. The potatoes especially, the skins dry out and develop that salt crust and the insides take on the spice.

From Crawfish Boil
From Crawfish Boil

Here is my baby girl Anna with her portion.

From Crawfish Boil

Yeah, that was a gag shot, we can’t even get this little one to eat chicken fingers, don’t worry though, I will keep cracking away on her culinary darings.

Thanks again to Charlie and the fine folks from Cajun Grocer for the generous portion of their premium Live Louisiana Crawfish!

This is my brother Brad. We don’t get together as often as we should these days but this boil was the perfect opportunity to do so and we had a wonderful time. Brad actually helps me with all of the technical details on this site and even hosts it for me on his server! He is also responsible for the new layout, which I absolutely love and has inspired me to start posting more often. Thanks for everything Brad!

From Crawfish Boil

Be sure to check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Crawfish Etouffee Recipe
Live Louisiana Crawfish

Pepper Jelly Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

Pepper Jelly, while not an ingredient specific to New Orleans is a staple of the South, including Louisiana. You can probably find a jar of Hot Pepper Jelly in your local grocery store, probably a green or red Jalapeno version, made with food coloring.

The most interesting Pepper Jellies to me are the fancier versions that have been created by some Chefs and home cooks in New Orleans and across the South that have been woven in with other wonderful local flavors to create some fabulous new dishes.

The crown jewel of these dishes, in my humble opinion, is Shrimp and Tasso Henican created by the late Chef Jamie Shannon of Commander’s Palace. Louisiana Shrimp larded with Tasso, sauteed and coated with Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc served on his 5 Pepper Jelly with pickled Okra. Seriously folks, this is one of the greatest dishes I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Here is the Commander’s Palace Recipe, and a pic of my recreation of the dish at home.

From Nola Cuisine

A few other dishes in New Orleans restaurants that include Pepper Jelly are Cochon‘s Fried Chicken Livers on Pepper Jelly Toast (read my Cochon Post), and Bayona‘s Smoked Duck “PB&J” with Cashew Butter, Pepper Jelly, and Apple Celery Salad.

I love making a batch of Pepper Jelly to keep around the house because it is such a diverse ingredient. Recently I served it to some guests at a dinner party as a dipping sauce with Spring Rolls.

Recipe Notes:
To Brunoise (very fine dice) the peppers, trim the ends of the peppers and cut the peppers so that you have a relatively flat piece. Lay the pepper flat on the cutting board, press the knife horizontally on the pepper and cut away the ribs and whiter parts of the pepper, pressing down the pepper to the board as you cut, until you have a brightly colored piece of pepper about 1/8″ thick. Now cut into brunoise.

Save all of the trim from the red and yellow peppers, discard the green trim.

Here is the recipe:

Pepper Jelly Recipe

1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into brunoise, discard trim
1 Red Bell Pepper, brunoise, trim reserved
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, brunoise, trim reserved
2 Jalapeno, seeded with ribs removed, brunoise
1 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Fresh Bay Leaf
1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
6 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Liquid Crab Boil
1 Package Liquid Pectin (optional)
Sterilized glass Jelly Jars with lids.

Cut all of the fresh peppers into brunoise and combine.
Combine the trim from the red and yellow peppers with the vinegars in a small saucepan, bring to almost a boil and turn of the heat. Let the pepper trim steep in the vinegar for 30 minutes. Puree the peppers and vinegar mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Add the strained vinegar back to the saucepan with the sugar, Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to a simmer. Add the black pepper, crushed red pepper, crab boil, and the bay leaf. Simmer until reduced by about 1/3.

In the meantime, in a stainless steal saute pan over medium heat, sweat the peppers until very dry, stirring constantly, do not allow to brown. Set aside.

When the sugar and vinegar mixture is reduced remove from the heat. Remove the bay leaf and add the brunoise peppers and the liquid Pectin to the mixture. stir well.

Place in the sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2 inch of room and put the lids on snugly.

Process in a hot water bath with enough water to cover the jars for 10-12 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. When cool, check to make sure that the jars created a seal, and tighten the screw lids. Store in a cool dark place for up to 12 months. Refrigerate after opening.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes, which has links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Bread Pudding Recipe

If you’re ever in the neighborhood of Commander’s Palace in the Garden District, you can almost follow your nose to the front door by the aroma of bread pudding which wafts across the neighborhood. I always picture a looney tunes character, closing their eyes, nose to the air, flapping their hands and floating along the scent trail to the source. I always think of that when I make this recipe and my kitchen smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

Bread Pudding is a combination of two things that I hold dear, great cooking spawned from frugality, and comfort food. What is more comforting than a plate of warm bread pudding covered in spiked and sweet Whiskey sauce?

I based this recipe loosely on the Commander’s Palace recipe from one of my absolute favorite books Commander’s Kitchen by Jamie Shannon and Ti Adelaide Martin, by one of my absolute favorite restaurants. I will also be featuring the Commander’s style Bread Pudding Souffle in the next few days, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the best desserts around. Anywhere.

The recipe:

Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce Recipe

For the Bread Pudding:

1 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
6 Cups French Bread, cut inot 1 inch cubes (be sure it’s a light bread, meaning not too dense)
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Butter a square cake pan with the butter.

Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl.
In a large Mixing bowl whisk the eggs, add the sugar mixture, then whisk in the cream and vanilla extract. Fold in the bread cubes being sure to not break them up too much. The trick to this recipe is to make sure all of the bread soaks up the custard, and that you don’t overcook it.

Place the prepared mixture into the cake pan, cover with foil and place the cake pan into a larger pan, sufficient enough to allow for a water bath which will cover the smaller pan by half way.

Place the pans into the oven and bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil and raise the temperature to 300 degrees for 1 hour more or until the top of the pudding is golden brown.

The finished pudding should be slightly firm, while moist, but not runny.

Serve warm with Whiskey sauce, recipe below.

Makes 4 servings.

Whiskey Sauce Recipe

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Water
a few drop of Vanilla extract
1/3 Cup Bourbon
1/3 Cup Sugar

Mix together the water and cornstarch. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. While boiling slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry, when the sauce is thickened remove from the heat and add the vanilla, bourbon and sugar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Be sure to visit my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes! It provides a link to all recipes featured on Nola Cuisine.

Chicken Pontalba Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

This is the last of the fancy New Orleans Chicken dishes that I’m going to feature for awhile, and I finished with my absolute favorite.
This dish was created by the great dutch Chef Paul Blange during the early days of Brennan’s Restaurant. It’s named for the Baroness Micaela Pontalba, famous for supervising the construction of the Pontalba buildings on the uptown and downtown sides of Jackson Square, and for the beautification of the square itself in 1848.
Legend has it that her friend Andrew Jackson, once failed to raise his hat to the Baroness, so when she funded the statue baring his likeness she insisted that sculptor Clark Mills depict Jackson forever raising his hat toward her apartment building. Probably not true, but it’s one hell of a fun story.

The Recipe:

Chciken Pontalba Recipe

2 Boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs, lightly pounded
1 Large Baking Potato, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3/4 Cup Ham, Diced
1 Small Onion Diced
1 1/2 Cups Mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 Tbsp Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Minced
1/2 Cup All purpose Flour
Kosher salt & Black Pepper
Cayenne
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, in all
Vegetable Oil
1 Recipe Bearnaise Sauce

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the Potatoes in 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil and season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Layer on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy.

In the meantime, season the flour with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Season the thighs also, then dredge them in the flour.

When the potatoes are almost ready, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil in a saute pan. When the fat is hot, brown the chicken quickly on both sides, place on a ovenproof dish and finish in the oven.

In the same saute pan, add the ham and onions, saute until golden brown and the onions are tender. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and a Tbsp more butter. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until the alcohol evaporates.
Fold in the brabant potatoes from the oven and 1 Tbsp of the parsley, taste for seasonings. just before serving incorporate the last Tbsp of butter.

Split the potato mixture between two heated plates. Top each with a chicken thigh, and finish with a generous portion of Bearnaise sauce. Garnish with minced parsley.

Serves 2.

More fancy New Orleans Chicken dishes at Nola Cuisine:

Chicken Clemenceau
Chicken Bonne Femme
Chicken Rochambeau

Creole Turtle Soup Recipe

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

Turtle Soup is almost as synonymous with Nola Cuisine as Gumbo, in fact, it probably outsells the Gumbo in a lot of establishments. Unlike the clear Turtle Soups made in other parts of the world, the Louisiana variety is a dark, robust soup, bordering on a stew. There are also Mock Turtle Soups which are good as well, usually made with Beef and Veal. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that most restaurant versions are a combination of the two. Turtles are said to contain about 7 different flavors of meat, so it would be very easy to slip a more inexpensive meat in with the Turtle, I’ve even heard of some places slipping in some Alligator. I always raise an eyebrow when the “Turtle Meat” in some versions is ground, as opposed to cubed, it’s a red flag that says “Probably Not All Turtle Meat Here.” That’s fine though, they still taste delicious, and it would take a very refined palate to tell the difference.

As far as finding Turtle Meat in your area, you may have a bit of a challenge. If you have a great Asian Market in your area, it’s probably your best bet, they may even have them live if you would like to butcher them yourself. It’s a messy business though, with a lot of blood and Post Mortem squirming. No thanks, I buy frozen. If you do butcher your own you will have access to ingredients that squeamish cooks like myself can’t find in the freezer. Calipash and Calipee, and possibly Turtle eggs. Some connoisseurs have said that they can tell if a Turtle Soup is truly authentic by the lumps of Calipash and Calipee in the soup. Calipash is the dull-green fatty substance inside the upper shell (Carapace). Calipee is the light yellow fatty substance attached to the bottom shell (Plastron).
If you can purchase bone-in Turtle Meat, do so! You can Roast the bones and infuse the flavor into your Beef Stock. Roast them in a 400 degree F oven until a nice deep brown, then add them to your Beef Stock and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Here is my recipe:

Creole Turtle Soup Recipe

Roux:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

4 Tbsp Usalted Butter
1 lb Turtle Meat Cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Diced
1 Cup Celery, Finely Diced
1/4 Cup Green Onion, Finely Sliced
2 tsp Garlic, Minced
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 1/2 Cup Fresh Tomato, Diced
1 Qt Beef Stock
1 Pinch Cayenne
1 Pinch Ground Allspice
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 Tbsp Fresh Marjoram, Chopped
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp Sherry
3 Hard Boiled Eggs, Whites diced, Yolks Riced
Lemon Slices
5 tsp Italian Pasley, Finely Chopped

Melt the 1 Cup of Butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk in the flour, cook to make a peanut butter colored Roux. Set aside. For more on making a Roux, click here.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the 4 Tbsp of Unalted Butter over medium-high heat, add the diced Turtle Meat and saute until nicely browned.
Lower the heat to medium, add both types of onions, the celery, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Saute until the vegetables are tender.
Add the tomatoes, season with a little salt so they will break down, cook for 10 minutes.
Add the Beef Stock, Worcestershire, Cayenne, Allspice, and Bay Leaves. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any impurities that may rise to the surface.
Whisk in the Roux, simmer until thickened and smooth. Add the Thyme, and Marjoram, simmer for 15-20 minutes more.
Add the Lemon Juice, 3 tsp of the Parsley, and the riced Egg Yolk, heat through.
Serve garnished with Lemon Slices, Diced Egg Whites, and Parsley. Add the Sherry at the table, about 1-2 tsp per bowl.

Serves 4-6