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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!

Casamento’s Restaurant

From New Orleans Restaurants

Casamento’s Restaurant
4330 Magazine St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
504-895-9761

Well, I finally made it to Casamento’s. After several attempts over the last few years, for one reason or another, every time I’ve showed up to their door on Magazine Street with an empty stomach just moaning and groaning for Oysters, I would inevitably be met with a sign to crush my hopes and dreams for that meal period. CLOSED. Granted, it would have helped if I had checked their website or bothered to call, but honestly, I’m not that bright.

On the other hand though, sometimes New Orleans takes you where she wants to take you, or just gives you a nudge in the direction that you want to go. In my experience, this is not a town for itineraries, not if you want to do it right. Go with the wind, come back often, and eventually you will see everything that you want to see. Yesterday the wind finally took me to Casamento’s, and I have to say that it was well worth the wait. I now rank Casamento’s among the best places that I have eaten Oysters in the city, raw or cooked.

From
From New Orleans Restaurants

Casamento’s was opened in 1919 by Joseph Casamento an immigrant of Ustica, Italy, who decided to tile the whole restaurant for easy cleaning, the restaurant is often likened to an empty swimming pool. Here is a pic of the front of the restaurant section of the restaurant and Oyster bar (sorry for the blurry pic):

From New Orleans Restaurants

The floor tiles:

From New Orleans Restaurants

The back section of the restaurant where I had lunch (I wanted to sit near the kitchen):

From New Orleans Restaurants

CJ cooking in the kitchen, you can see the Pan Bread in the oven:

From New Orleans Restaurants

The restaurant has long been loved by locals and when Joseph Sr. died the restaurant was passed on to his son Joseph Casamento Jr. Sadly after years in the restaurant (which he lived above) Joseph Jr. passed away the night Hurricane Katrina hit. Here is a pic from one of my favorite books, the long out of print Time-Life book American Cooking: Creole and Acadian which shows both Joeseph Casamento Jr. and Sr. shucking Oysters for their hungry customers back in the seventies. (I didn’t know who to contact for permission for this pic, as the book is so long out of print. If the owner has any problem with me posting this image, email me and I will take it down immediately!)

From New Orleans Restaurants

The restaurant is now owned and run by Joseph Sr’s grandson, and Joseph Jr’s nephew CJ and his wife Linda Gerdes, he runs the kitchen and she runs the front, carrying on the traditions of the restaurant and fine cooking that locals and travelers have come to rely on from Casamento’s.

I started my lunch, with a half dozen on the half shell, beautifully shucked, plump, and delicious Louisiana Oysters. Casamento’s has ketchup, horseradish, and Louisiana hot sauce on the tables for mixing your own sauce.

From New Orleans Restaurants

Detail of one of my Oysters:

From New Orleans Restaurants

My favorite part of the meal, or my first favorite that is, is the Oyster Stew, simply done with the best Oysters, perfectly poached in the milky broth, succulent with onions, green onions, with a hint of celery and thyme, and glistening pearls of butter of floating on top of the stew as it arrives.

From New Orleans Restaurants

This is a simple soup, perfectly executed, one of the best things I have eaten in the city. By the way, I’m a Gourmand if you haven’t noticed, not a gourmet.

From New Orleans Restaurants

By the way, Cassamento’s Oyster Stew Recipe is contained in Kit Wohl’s book
New Orleans Classic Seafood, page 42. I ate a similar Oyster Stew at Grand Central Terminal Oyster Bar in New York when I was a younger lad and didn’t really appreciate it’s simplicity, although Casamento’s version immediately reminded me of that day. I actually ate that Oyster Stew while sitting next to the now late Al Lewis a.k.a Grandpa Munster who was celebrating his birthday at his favorite restaurant. I remember quietly whispering to my friend in between slurps of soup, ‘is that Grandpa Munster??’ (quietly), as he slurped his Oyster stew and casually glanced over and nodded in affirmative, ‘M’hmm, THAT’s Grandpa Munster.’

Anyway, back to the meal at Casamento’s, last stop was the famous Oyster Loaf, perfectly fried Velvety Oysters served, not on the New Orleans French Bread, but rather on Casamento’s signature pan bread, thick slices of toasted bread which serves as a cradle for the perfectly fried Oysters. You can order it dressed or not. Casamento’s Oyster Loaf is dressed with Iceberg lettuce, tomato, and Mayonnaise, quartered sweet pickle on the side. I’m patting myself on the back for this picture, if you would like to do so also, please return my arm to it’s regular forward position to do so. :-)

From New Orleans Restaurants

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

Mother’s Restaurant

Mother’s Restaurant has been on the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas since 1938, named after Mary (Mother) Landry who originally owned the restaurant along with her husband Simon and their large family. The Landry family owned and operated the restaurant until 1986 when the Landry sons sold the restaurant to Jerry and John Amato, who still run it today. For a full history of the restaurant with lots of pictures visit here.

From New Orleans

Every time that I have visited Mother’s there has always been a long line, even in the off season, nice to see. The line in my experience contains a nice mix of just about everyone, locals, tourists, lawyers (the courthouse is just down the street), people in suits, people in work uniforms, you name it.

From New Orleans

The counter help may seem a bit short, but like any other great busy sandwich shop in New Orleans, New York or anywhere, it’s necessary to keep the line moving. As a matter of fact I refuse to eat at a deli in New York with friendly counter help, and insults only make the sandwich taste better. I’m not saying that the fine folks at Mother’s are rude, just don’t expect chit chat during the lunch rush.

From New Orleans

The food is good, great Po Boys, Gumbos and soups, I remember having a really great Turtle Soup on a visit years back with nice chunks of Turtle Meat, not ground as in most restaurants. (My Turtle Soup Recipe) Here is their menu!

My favorite sandwich at Mother’s is the Ferdi Special; Roast Beef with Mother’s excellent baked Ham, dressed and with Debris Gravy. The portion seemed a bit leaner than I remember, but then again, maybe I can just eat more now. Actually there is no maybe about it, I can definitely eat more now. I guess the sandwich didn’t get smaller…I’ve gotten larger.

From New Orleans

My wife Sheelah went for the Shrimp Po Boy as she usually does when it comes to Po Boys, nice portion of perfectly fried Shrimp, nicely dressed (by the way, Mother’s uses Cabbage to dress their Po Boys instead of shredded lettuce). We both had Zapp’s chips with the sandwich, which always just seems like the right thing to do.

From New Orleans

I have to tell you folks, I haven’t been to Mother’s or New Orleans for some time now and looking at these pictures and writing this post makes me heartsick for New Orleans. Actually this site was founded on my heartsickness for New Orleans and her food, people, music, architecture, vibe, everything. It has warmed my heart immensely to hear from displaced folks from New Orleans and Louisiana who are away from their home, and have found at least a little piece of it via recipes and remembrances from my site. I hope this site can bring a little joy to your life as it has mine.

Related Posts:

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe
Shrimp Po Boy Recipe
Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
Domilise’s Po Boy & Bar
Parasol’s Restaurant and Bar

Be sure to visit my ever growing Index of Creole and Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes features on Nola Cuisine!

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!

Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

Shrimp and Eggplant are a perfect flavor match in this traditional Creole Italian dish, neither trying to overpower the other, just existing in perfect harmony, kind of like Oysters and artichokes, and Okra and Tomatoes.

Besides the Muffuletta, you don’t hear as much about the Italian and Sicilian immigrant contribution to Creole Cuisine as you do the French influence, this is just one.

By the way, there is a great little book from Pelican Publishing in Gretna called The New Orleans Italian Cookbook, a compilation of recipes from the Italian American Society of Jefferson Auxillary. It was first published in 1979, it features recipes from a lot of different people, from Chefs to homecooks, a great little book.

Back to the dish, it’s important to use small eggplant, because they have very few seeds, it’s just less headache. Also, you could alternately boil the eggplants whole, scoop out the pulp and save the shells to bake your dressing in, if you’re into that sort of thing.

As far as the shrimp, I only use wild caught American shrimp these days, if I can’t get American, I don’t eat Shrimp. True, they are more expensive than the flavorless Southeast Asian farm raised stuff out there, and harder to find for that matter, but they taste a whole lot better; and more importantly, purchasing them supports our own Shrimp fisherman who are absolutely suffering these days.

Anyway, back to the recipe, it’s hard to cook when you’re standing on top of a soapbox. 😉

I served this as a side to a big plate of Fried Chicken, Green Onion mashed Potatoes, and Cornbread.

Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing Recipe

1 lb Wild Caught American Gulf Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped (Reserve the shells)
1 Bay leaf
1 bundle Fresh Thyme, tied with butchers twine
Water, enough to cover the eggplant by 1 inch
1 splash Liquid Crab Boil
4-5 small Eggplant, peeled, enough to yield about 2 1/2-3 Cups Cooked
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Large Spanish Onion, finely diced
1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
4 Toes Garlic, minced
2 Green Onions, sliced thin, keep the green and white parts seperate
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Cup Bread Crumbs (preferably homemade from leftover French bread)

For the topping:

1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup grated Parmeggiano, and Pecorino Romano
3 Tbsp Melted Butter
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
A pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring the water to boil in a Dutch Oven. Add the Bay Leaf, bundled Thyme, reserved Shrimp shells, crab boil, any trim from the diced onion, and a handful of Kosher salt. Boil for about 15-20 minutes, skim off the scum from the shrimp shells. Add the Eggplant and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the 3 Tbsp butter in a saute pan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and a pinch of salt, saute until the onions are translucent, add the chopped Thyme and the chopped shrimp, cook until the shrimp are just cooked through; set aside to cool.

When the eggplant is very tender remove with tongs to a colainder to cool. When cool, squeeze some of the liquid from it and chop.

In a large bowl combine the eggplant, onion & pepper mixture, egg, fresh basil, and parsley, mix ingredients together well. Add the bread crumbs a little at a time until the right consistency is achieved; it should be not too wet, not too dry. Check the seasoning; season to taste with Kosher salt, Cayenne, and black pepper.

Add the mixture to a buttered gratin or baking dish. Mix together the topping ingredients, top the shrimp and eggplant dressing with it. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and the topping is a nice golden brown.

Makes enough for a side dish for 4.

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

Related Posts:

Muffuletta Recipe
Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons
Creole Stuffed Peppers
Creole Smothered Okra & Tomatoes Recipe

Shrimp Stock Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

Chefs and cookbook authors alike sound like broken records when discussing stocks, “…there is no substitute for a well made stock.” But hey, it’s true. There really is no substitute for a well made stock. But can you use that stuff on the grocery store shelves, (which they have the gall to label “stock”), in a pinch? Of course. I use them from time to time myself when I’m out of the real deal, but the results are never, ever as good as homemade.

Stocks add not only a richness of flavor but also of texture when it comes to Chicken and Beef Stock. When chicken or beef stock are made well, that is, slowly cooked over a low flame for hours, they are gelatinous and rich. So rich in fact that when cooled they are the texture of Jello, let’s see Kitchen Basics or Emeril’s brand hold a candle to that. But they do take a lot of time, which brings me to why I love Shrimp Stock, because it takes no time at all, an hour tops.

I always buy shell on shrimp. Why? For the same reason I buy bone in cuts of meat. Stock. The amount of shrimp you’re using for this recipe will produce enough Shrimp Stock for the shrimp recipes calling for it on this site, plus some extra to freeze for later use. Shrimp stock only needs to cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, once you reach the simmering point.

Shrimp Stock Recipe

The Shells and tails from 2 lb. of Shrimp
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1/4 Cup chopped Celery
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Lemon sliced
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 tsp. Black Peppercorns

Add all ingredients to a dutch oven or a moderate sized stock pot. Cover this with cold water, it should be about 6-8 Cups Cups. Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or chinois.

Stock freezes very well. I always break it up into one use batches by putting it into those plastic ziploc containers. Just remember to leave about 1 inch of headroom as it will expand when it freezes.

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

Related Posts:

Beef Stock
Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
Shrimp Creole Recipe

Lobster Thermidor Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

This is a very old school dish, I know, but my oh, my does it ever taste great. In my book, rich and bubbly, cheesy Thermidor sauce with chunks of lobster is the stuff dreams are made of, old school or not. There is a lot of debate over this dish regarding not only it’s namesake but also it’s ingredients, country and restaurant of origin, who’s version is the best, blah, blah, blah. I say, Make lobster not war, it’s only dinner after all, just make sure it tastes good. :-)

Here is my version:

From Nola Cuisine

Lobster Thermidor Recipe

For the Lobsters:

2 1-1/4 lb Lobsters
Whole lemons
4 Bay Leaves
4 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
2 Tbsp Black peppercorns
1 Bunch Thyme, tied together
1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
Water, enough to cover 2 lobsters

Combine all of the ingredients except the Lobsters, bring to a rolling boil. Cook for 15 mintes. While still boiling drop the lobsters into the pot. Cook for 5-6 minutes, remove immediately to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. I like to under cook the lobsters so they will finish cooking in the sauce.

When the lobsters are cold, remove both claws from the body. Cut the body in half lengthwise. Extract all of the tail meat, and all of the meat from the claws and knuckles. Cut the meat into nice sized chunks. Totally clean out the shells and place face down on a baking sheet. Place in a 300 degree oven to dry them out, when dry, remove and set aside on a clean baking sheet.

For the Sauce:

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 Tbsp Shallots, finely minced
1 Tbsp Garlic, finely minced
4 Tbsp Flour
1/4 Cup Sherry
1/2 Cup Whole milk
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of Cayenne
1/4 Cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 Cup shredded Parmesan
1 Tbsp fresh Tarragon, minced
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, minced
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent. Whisk in the flour and cook to make a blond roux, whisk in the Sherry. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk, then move on to the cream. Add the dijon, cayenne and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly, to prevent scorching. Cook just until the raw flour taste is gone, remove from the heat. While still hot whisk in 3/4 of each cheese, stir until incorporated. Stir in the Tarragon and parsley. Season to taste with Kosher salt & white pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix the reserved lobster meat with some of the sauce (you may not need all of the sauce). The result should be very plentiful with lobster meat. Fill the reserved shells with the prepared sauce. Top with the remaining Gruyere and Parmesan. If you have a little sauce sauce with lobster leftover, bake it off in a small casserole or ramekin.

Bake until the cheese and sauce are nicely golden brown, serve on top of something green, I used Chicory.

I like to serve this with toast points.

Serves 2.

Be sure to visit my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes! It provides a link to all recipes featured on Nola Cuisine. Also check out my other website American Gourmand for more great recipes!

Shrimp Etouffee Recipe

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

The smell of Etouffee, be it Crawfish (my Crawfish Etouffee Recipe) or Shrimp, is one of the most heavenly aromas that I know, along with the smell of Shrimp a la Creole. The word Etouffee (Ay-2-FAY) translates roughly to smothered , stewed, or braised. To me it simply translates to happy taste buds.

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

I always buy shell on shrimp, why? For the same reason I buy bone in cuts of meat. Stock. The amount of shrimp you’re using for this recipe will produce just enough Shrimp Stock, plus a little extra (recipe below). Shrimp stock only needs to cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

From Nola Cuisine

Shrimp Stock Recipe

The Shells and tails from 2 lb. of Shrimp
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1/4 Cup chopped Celery
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Lemon sliced
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 tsp. Black Peppercorns

Add all ingredients to a 2 qt. saucepan. Cover this with cold water, it should be about 6-8 Cups Cups. You’ll need 1 1/2 Cups for the Etouffee. Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Strain.

Tip: When adding fresh Thyme to a simmered dish like this, I always bundle the Thyme tightly with butchers twine. The leaves will remove themselves while cooking, and you will get all of the flavor from the stems. When ready to serve just remove the bundle of stems along with your bay leaves.

The recipe:

Shrimp Etouffee Recipe

2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup fresh Tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 Cups Shrimp Stock
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
I bundle of Fresh Thyme
2 tsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce (I like Crystal or Louisiana Gold)
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp minced Italian Parsley
2 lb Good Quality Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined, Save shells for the stock
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Season the shrimp with 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning.
Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet, add the onions, bell pepper, and celery, saute until translucent. Whisk in the flour to make a blonde roux, stirring constantly, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the remaining Creole Seasoning. Add a small amount of the shrimp 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 tomatoes, garlic, Thyme, Worcestershire, and hot sauce, a little salt, black pepper, and Cayenne. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Add the shrimp, green onions, and parsley, simmer for 10 minutes more or until the shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the 3 Tbsp butter, and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Serve over Creole Boiled Rice.

Serves 4 as an Appetizer or 2 as a Large Entree.

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

Related Posts:

Crawfish Etouffee Recipe
Shrimp Creole Recipe
Creole Stuffed Peppers (Austin Leslie Style)
Redfish Courtbouillon Recipe
Shrimp Stock Recipe
Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons
Shrimp Stuffed Savory Crepes with Tasso Cream Sauce


Creole Cream Cheese Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

I made a fresh batch of Creole Cream Cheese yesterday that I finished today. I just ate what you see in the picture, sprinkled heavily with sugar, and I can tell you honestly, you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t try this recipe. This is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and you will learn more on its versatility, when I post further with recipes for Creole Cream Cheese Cheescake, and Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream (a.k.a Frozen Creole Cream Cheese, my fave, which I will make in the next few days.

By the way, what I used for a cheese mold this time was an inexpensive silicone muffin tin, which I punched drainage holes into with a hole puncher, traditionally used for paper (but not here on Nola Cuisine).

The way I have presented Creole Cream Cheese here is at its simplest, the way it was meant to be served; sweetened with fresh fruit and cream as a breakfast treat. Give it a shot, it is extremely cheap and easy to make.

I wrote an extensive post on this subject with the recipe just over a year ago, which I am including below because:

a.) I didn’t have this wonderful camera to show the fruits (no pun intended) of my labor a year ago, and a picture is, as they say, worth a thousand words.

b.) I worked hard reasearching this post, so it bears repeating, at least for my sake (or your sake if you plan on making this recipe.)

Here is the post and recipe from July 29, 2005, about a month before Hurricane She Who Shall Not Be Named reared her ugly head on the wonderful city of New Orleans. I hope you enjoy and learn as much from this post as I did researching and making the dish:

Creole Cream Cheese used to be widely available in New Orleans, over time however it became harder to find, and never outside of Louisiana. It’s a soft cheese eaten as a breakfast treat, sprinkled with sugar, covered with cream or half & half, and usually fresh fruit. This is what “>The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901 had to say about the subject:

Cream Cheese is always made from clabbered milk. The ‘Cream Cheese Woman’ is still as common a sight on our New Orleans streets as the Cala Woman was in the days gone by. She carries a covered basket in which are a number of small perforated tins in which the Cheeses are. In her other hand she carries a can of fresh Cream. She sells her wares to her regular customers, for the old Creoles who do not make their own Cream Cheese are very particular as to whom they buy from, and when once a good careful, clean woman gets a ‘customer’ she keeps her during her period of business, coming every fast day and Friday with her Cheese and Cream, for this is a great fast-day breakfast and luncheon dish.

The “Cream Cheese Woman” has long ago gone the way of the “Cala Woman”, but fortunately for me, I enjoy making it myself. It’s a fairly long but very simple process; combined, about 10 minutes of actual work. Rennet is a coagulating enzyme which comes from a young animal’s stomach, but there are also vegetable varieties. It comes in liquid or tablet form, I use the liquid animal variety. Although I had a hard time finding it in my area, you may find it in tablet form in the baking aisle at your grocer. If not, do what I did and order it from Cheese Supply(dot)com. The shipping is a little steep for just a small item, so I ordered some Manchego, Cheesecloth, and a few other items to pad the bill. The recipe:

Creole Cream Cheese Recipe

2 Quarts Skim Milk
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
8 drops Liquid Rennet or 2 tablets
Cheesecloth

Combine the skim and buttermilk in a good sized saucepan. Over medium heat bring the mixture to 110 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Pour the heated mixture into a large, non-metal bowl. Add the rennet, stir and cover with cheesecloth. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. After a few hours there should be chunks (Curds) and liquid (Whey), try to keep Miss Muffet at bay. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, then spoon the curds into the colander, try to keep them intact. Let this drain for 1 hour or until it is one solid piece. Discard the Whey, or make Ricotta, which is made from cooked Whey. I haven’t tried it yet, but next time I will. Place gently into a bowl and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve with sugar, half & half, and fresh fruit.

*New* I have another recipe for Creole Cream Cheese that says you cannot use Homogenized milk. I’ll have to locate some to see if there is any difference in the finished product. The same recipe states you can substitute reconstituted dry skim milk. Another variation in this recipe is the use of Plain Yogurt as the culture, in place of the buttermilk. I will post when I try this.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes! It’s an index with links to all of the recipes featured on this site. Also check out my new sister site to Nola Cuisine called American Gourmand!

Andouille Sausage Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

I started making my own Andouille a few years back because the stuff they sell in the grocery stores here in Michigan is a joke, you may as well break open a package of Oscar Meyer hot dogs for your Gumbo.
You know the kind I mean, basically Alpo, stuffed into a casing and injected with liquid smoke. I can’t use that garbage, so I make my own. Andouille is a cornerstone to many great New Orleans & Louisiana dishes, so you really need a good one! I would rather use a good quality Kielbasa, than a cut rate Andouille. The better the Andouille, the better the dish! Luckily, I enjoy making sausage, it is a very worth while investment of time if your finished product turns out well. Here is how I go about it.

I used a nice fatty, 5# boston butt, trimmed of tough connective tissue. Fat is good for sausage, especially Andouille. You want about 75% lean/25% fat. Here I hand chopped half of the meat into 1/4 inch pieces for texture, and ground the rest. The recipe:

Andouille Sausage Recipe

5# Pork (I prefer a Boston Butt) Trimmed of tough connective tissue and cut into 2 inch cubes.

Combine the following in a bowl:
2 tsp of Cayenne or to taste (Remember, if you make it too hot, every dish you make with it will be too hot! Start off with a little, you can add more after you taste the finished seasoning)
1 Tbsp Paprika
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Garlic
1/8 Cup Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 healthy pinch Cure #1 (1 tsp. of “cure” per 5# of meat)
1/2 Cup Ice Water

Toss this mixture with the meat, making sure it is well coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

**Note – Prague Powder#1 is used for wet curing meats, to retain color and freshness. It is a ratio of 16 oz. salt to 1 ounce sodium nitrate.

Chop half of the meat into 1/4 inch pieces and grind the other half with a coarse grinding plate. Mix the two together with:

1/8 Cup Non-Fat Powdered Milk (this is a binder)

Stuff the sausage into prepared Hog Casings (Beef middle casings if you can find them). Here is my method of Linking Sausage.

Tie each sausage link with kitchen string to make a loop for hanging. Hang uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This step is to let the casings dry out to allow smoke absorption, very important.

I smoked this in an inexpensive upright barrel smoker, with charcoal as the heat source, and unsoaked Pecan chips for the smoke. The sausage was hung beneath the top rack, no water pan.

I smoked this at 130º F for 2 hours, then increased the heat to 165º F for another 2 1/2 hours, refreshing the wood chips as needed. The trick here, is to get as much smoke flavor into the sausage before it is actually cooked through, and too hot of a temperature will render the fat out of your sausage. I controlled the temp by the number of coals, and keeping them piled up and pushed to one side. When you spread your coals out the temperature will increase. I added more coals to reach the 165º F mark.

The internal temperature of the sausage should read 155º F on an instant read thermometer. Remove at this point and immediately spray with cold water. Hang at room temperature in front of a fan for 1 hour then refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

Portion and store in vacuum sealed packages in the freezer.

Other recipes for Sausages and Seasoning Meats at Nola Cuisine:

Here is my Latest Batch of Andouille Sausage!

Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Cornbread and Andouille Sausage Recipe
Tasso Recipe
Pickled Pork Recipe

My post about my visit to Jacob’s Andouille.

Check out Egullet’s, Eating Louisiana Andouille page, with pics from Wayne Jacob’s, and Jacob’s Andouille, in the Andouille capital, Laplace, Louisiana.