We were fortunate to be invited to two crawfish boils this past weekend and definitely relished the fresh, delicious crustaceans superbly seasoned and tipped out on newspaper covered tables with corn on the cob, whole heads of garlic, potatoes and artichokes.
Crawfish season is usually from March until June, when they can be enjoyed at their plumpest, with their relatively soft shells making them easier to peel. Although this celebrated season is coming to an end, the frozen meat is easy to find year round in the freezer section of the store, making it easy to indulge in these recipes any time.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 (1 pound) package frozen, cooked, peeled crawfish tails, thawed and undrained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
baguette slices, to serve
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in crawfish and next 3 ingredients, cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream cheese until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Serve with toasted baguette slices.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living, February 2012
SAUCY CRAWFISH WITH WHOLE CORN GRITS
3 1/2 cups milk, divided
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked grits
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons sour cream (can use light)
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped andouille sausage
2/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons tomato paste
8 ounces of cooked crawfish tail meat (about 1 2/3 cups)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, divided
To prepare grits, combine 1/2 cup milk, corn and chipotle chile in a blender. process until the corn is coarsely chopped.
Combine remaining 3 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Gradually add grits, stirring with a whisk. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 11 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat, add cheese and 3 tablespoons of sour cream, stirring until cheese melts. Keep warm.
To prepare crawfish, place flour in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove flour from pan, set aside, wipe pan clean.
Return pan to medium heat. Add oil and sausage to pan, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved flour, tomato paste, and crawfish, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup sour cream. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chives over crawfish mixture. Stir 3 tablespoons chives into grits, serve with crawfish mixture
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, August 2012