Tag Archives: cajun

Crawfish Etouffee

Last year, we held a crawfish boil for our neighborhood, partially funded by Foodbuzz as a 24,24,24 event. This year, while we didn’t get out with our neighbors (although our next-door-neighbor did come visit and chow down), we invited a bunch of friends and family to join in the fun. My husband boiled crawfish all afternoon while all of us enjoyed the heat (okay, well, enjoy is a bit of exaggeration – it was toasty!) and ate mudbugs until we popped. Even my dear friend Cindy from Jacob’s Reward Farm visited with her family. I took extra care to be sure that the crawfish were gluten-free by contacting Zatarain’s to ensure that the spice mixes we would use were safe. (They were – hooray!) Also available to munch on were burgers and hot dogs (not so gluten-free), chips and guacamole, cookies and homemade rice krispie treats, both brought by generous guests, and even some healthy gluten-free sweet treats – carrot cake bites. In our house, if we’re hosting an event, it’s guaranteed there will be LOTS of food!

Of course, many of our friends are still not big crawfish eaters, and so we had to send a few lucky guests home with a bag of crawfish or two. And I spent some time peeling all I could handle, just so I’d have the tails for a delicious meal – etouffee. Even before our party was over, I already was envisioning the next meal.

Etouffee is a relatively straightforward Cajun dish typically served with rice. It’s similar to gumbo, but it comes together much more quickly. The dish is greater than the sum of its parts – it tastes as though it had been simmering for hours. After a busy weekend and a long day of cleanup, this was exactly the meal we needed.

Crawfish Etouffee, adapted from Emeril LaGasse’s Louisiana Real and Rustic

1 stick (1/4 lb butter)

2 c diced onions

1 c diced celery

1/2 c diced green bell pepper

1 lb crawfish tails, peeled

2 bay leaves

1/2 T potato starch

1 c water

1 t kosher salt

1/4 t cayenne

2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley

Melt butter in a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and bell pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until soft and slightly golden. Reduce heat to medium and add the bay leaves and crawfish and saute for another 7-8 minutes or until crawfish start to give off liquid.

Mix the potato starch together with the water and pour into saute pan. Add salt and cayenne and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and cook for another minute or two. Serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4.

23 Comments

Filed under Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood

Blackened Catfish with Cantaloupe Salsa

blackened catfish with cantaloupe salsa 003

Last week, as I was thumbing through the grocery ads, I came across a deal I couldn’t pass up – 4/$1 cantaloupe at my local Sprouts. When I made my visit, I picked up 4 cantaloupe. I came out of the store with a smile on my face. I love cantaloupe.

But what was I going to do with 4 cantaloupe? I couldn’t eat them all for breakfast…

Enter cantaloupe salsa. In a twist of fate, Deb at Smitten Kitchen was on a cantaloupe kick. And in a stroke of genius, she created this cantaloupe salsa, a tantalizing blend of cool, sweet and spicy. I was in heaven. I immediately knew I would be making this to top some fish.

And if you have lived in Texas (or just about anywhere in the South) for any length of time, you know catfish is everywhere. Most of it is coated in cornmeal and fried, of course (not that there is anything wrong with that – I love a perfectly fried catfish!), but a spicy blackened catfish is also quite common. Blackening seasoning, a Cajun seasoning, is a mixture of spices that are typically generously sprinkled over fish or chicken and then sautéed in a pan at a relatively high heat. It’s a quick, easy, and healthy way to prepare seafood, and it sounded like the perfect companion for the cantaloupe salsa.

This turned out to be quite a success! The heat in the cayenne melded perfectly with the zippy jalapenos and sweet melon. I served this with a bit of steamed rice. With the 100-degree temperatures predicted this week, this was the perfect dish to keep dinner light, yet flavorful.

One cantaloupe down, 3 to go.

 

Cantaloupe Salsa, adapted from Smitten Kitchen:

1 medium cantaloupe, seeded and diced

1/4 c sweet yellow onion, diced

juice of 2 limes

2-3 serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and diced

2 T sweet red bell pepper, diced

1 t basil, minced

2 T cilantro, minced

salt to taste

Mix together ingredients and serve immediately, or refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to meld.

 

Blackened Catfish, adapted from Gourmet magazine

2 t sweet paprika

1/2 t garlic powder

1/2 t dried oregano, crumbled

1/4 t cayenne

1/2 t sugar

1/2 t salt

1/4 t ground black pepper

4 catfish fillets

1 T olive oil

1 T unsalted butter

In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic, oregano, cayenne, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pat the catfish dry thoroughly with paper towels. Sprinkle the catfish with the spices on both sides, coating them well. In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil to moderately high heat. Add butter and heat until foam subsides. Add catfish and saute for 3-4 minutes per side, or until fish is cooked through.

To serve:

Place catfish fillets on plates, and spoon 1/4 – 1/2 cup of salsa over. Serve with hot steamed rice, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood

Shrimp Etouffee

food-9451This past weekend, I was digging through my Emeril Lagasse cookbooks and found a perfect weeknight recipe to celebrate Fat Tuesday. I shopped and bought the ingredients so I could prepare it, and was excited. And then I was sick Monday and Tuesday, making a Fat Tuesday etouffee celebration out of the question. So here we are, post-Mardi Gras, with a Creole dish. Good thing I could eat this stuff all the time! As always, Emeril’s recipes deliver. Flavorful, with a bit of heat. I made it as written, only halved the recipe, and minced the onion, bell pepper, and celery, as I like to taste the blend of those vegetables a bit more, rather than tasting each individual veggie, as you would if they were chopped. They meld together so well for a beautiful sauce. I also made steamed brown rice for a bit of fiber. Yummy!

¾ stick of butter (6 T)

2 c onion, minced

1 c bell pepper, minced

1 c celery, minced

1 t minced garlic

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 t salt

¼ t cayenne

1 T flour

1 c water

3 T chopped parsley

¼ c chopped green onion

 

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the shrimp, salt, and cayenne and cook for 4 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink.

 

Dissolve flour into the water and add to the shrimp mixture. Stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the parsley and green onion. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.

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Filed under Main Dishes, Seafood