some more louisiana cajun and creole recipes.....

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by snorton938, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    CRABMEAT CHEESECAKEwith Pecan Crust,
    from the Palace Café

    This fabulous cheesecake by Chef Robert Bruce is the signature appetizer at the Palace Café in New Orleans, one of my favorite restaurants back home. It's decidedly different from Chef Emeril Lagasse's savory cheesecakes, for which he is well known, primarily for its nutty crust and the special tang of Creole cream cheese.
    Creole cream cheese is unfortunately impossible to find outside of New Orleans, and is even difficult to find within the city limits (Dorignac's Food Center on Veterans in Metairie still makes their own, bless 'em). You won't be able to make this like the restaurant does without it, but for the Creole cream cheese you can substitute equal parts of plain yogurt and sour cream. Believe me, the cheesecake will still taste fantastic!

    Pecan Crust:
    3/4 cup pecans
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
    3 tablespoons ice water
    1/2 small onion, finely diced
    4 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
    8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    3 ounces Creole cream cheese (or 3 tablespoons each plain yogurt and sour cream)
    2 eggs
    Salt and white pepper to taste
    Crystal hot sauce to taste (or your favorite hot sauce)
    2 tablespoons chopped shallots
    4 ounces sliced mixed wild and exotic mushrooms
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    3 ounces Worcestershire sauce
    1 ounce hot sauce
    3 ounces heavy whipping cream (UK: single cream)
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    24 crab claw fingers
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    For the pecan crust: Grind the pecans, flour and salt in a food processor until fine. Transfer to a bowl. Add the butter. Work the butter into the flour until you have crumbs about the size of a pea. Toss in the ice water, lifting up the dough with your fingers to incorporate evenly. The dough will remain fairly crumbly. Starting with the sides, and then the bottom, press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Bake the crust in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool before filling. Meanwhile, make the filling ...
    For the filling: Cook the onion in a bit of butter over medium heat until translucent. Add the crabmeat and cook just until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or by hand using a wooden spoon), blend the cream cheese until smooth. Add the Creole cream cheese and then the eggs one at a time. Fold in the crabmeat mixture. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and hot sauce. Pour the mix into the prepared cooled crust. Bake at 300°F for about 30 minutes until set and firm to the touch.

    For the garnish topping: Sauté shallots until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sweat until just cooked through. Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, and reduce by 3/4. Add the heavy cream and reduce by half. Whisk in the butter.

    In a separate sauté pan, add crab claw fingers. Salt and pepper to taste, then pour the reduction over and keep warm. Each slice of cheesecake gets three crab claws and 2 tablespoons of sauce.

    Yield: 8 servings from one 9" tart
  2. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    This rich and elegant crabmeat dish makes an excellent appetizer when served in small puff pastry shells or ramekins, or may be served as a dip with crackers or Melba toast.

    1 stick unsalted butter
    1 small bunch green onions, minced
    1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 pint cream
    8 ounces Swiss Emmenthaler cheese, grated
    1 tablepspoon dry sherry
    1 pound lump crabmeat
    1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
    Salt to taste

    Melt the butter in a saute pan and saute the onions and parsley until the onions are translucent. Blend the flour and cream, and add to the pan. Add cheese, and stir until melted. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, then fold in crabmeat. Serve immediately or hold in chafing dish.
  3. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    When I stopped being a stupid little kid ("I hate seafood!") and saw The Light, this quickly became one of my favorite dishes. My grandma made the greatest stuffed crabs.
    Usually the way to do it is not to pick meat out of boiled crabs, but to buy the lump crabmeat separately, get some washed crab shells from the seafood market (left over after the crabs had been cleaned to use for gumbo), then mix the dressing and stuff them into the crabs.

    The best way to get these is in real crab shells, but you never see these in restaurants these days (nor in seafood markets that sell prepared dishes), due to a few unscrupulous restauranteurs way back when who would try to reuse the crab shells after they'd already been stuffed, heated, and served to customers. Yuck. (A recipe for food poisoning, that.) When you do see stuffed crabs nowadays, you see them in pseudo-crab shells made of thick aluminum foil, and roughly crab-shaped. Not as good. The only way to get 'em the real way (i.e., in crab shells) is to get 'em homemade.

    The secret to this recipe is to moisten the bread used to make the dressing with crab or shrimp stock. If you use chicken stock, it won't taste nearly as much of seafood. If you use water, it'll taste like ... blah. You can take a little bit of crabmeat and make it go a long way with some crab stock you make from a few leftover shells.

    1 pound lump crabmeat (worth the splurge)
    Two sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
    1/2 rib celery, finely chopped
    1 bunch green onions (including the green part), finely chopped
    4 tablespoons finely minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
    1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
    1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
    A dash or two of Tabasco or Crystal Hot Sauce, to taste
    1/2 loaf stale French bread, cubed (about 3 cups)
    1 cup homemade French bread crumbs (not from a can)
    2 cups homemade crab stock or shrimp stock
    A dozen or so reserved crab shells, washed thoroughly, or you may substitute aluminum crab forms if you can get them
    Heat your oven to 400°F.

    Heat 1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of the butter and heat in a heavy skillet. When the butter is sizzling, sauté the onions and the celery until the onions begin to brown (be careful, make sure you brown them and not burn them). Add the green onions, garlic, salt and pepper and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the parsley and cook one minute. Season to taste with the Tabasco or Crystal (just a little, don't overdo it here).

    Add the crab stock, mix well, then bring to a boil. Add the bread cubes and bread crumbs, and mix very thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, then let the mixture cool.

    Take 2-1/2 to 3 cups of the bread mixture and place in a large bowl, breaking it up with your fingers. Add the crabmeat (which has been picked over for cartilege and shell bits) and use your hands to combine it with the bread mixture, very carefully. You pay a premium for lump crabmeat, so don't break it up; leave some lumps!

    Stuff each crab shell or aluminum crab form with a generous amount of the stuffing. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over each mount of stuffing. Bake for about 10 minutes, and if you like turn on the broiler for the last 30-60 seconds, so that the bread crumbs will toast slightly (be VERY careful if you do this, and watch constantly).

    Makes about one dozen stuffed crabs. These make great appetizers (you can serve as they are or drizzle with hollandaise), as a side dish, or serve three crabs as a main dish with a vegetable.
  4. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    Boulettes ("little balls") are little breaded and fried balls of meat or seafood dressing, and make a scrumptious snack, appetizer or side dish. They may also be heated in brown roux-based or tomato gravy and served with rice.

    1 pound crawfish tails, preferably with fat
    1 onion, finely chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
    6 green onions, chopped
    1 cup bread crumbs
    1-2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
    4 eggs, beaten separately (two and two)
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Flour, cracker meal or corn meal for breading

    Grind the crawfish tails together with the next four ingredients. Add the bread crumbs, Creole seasoning, two of the beaten eggs, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Shape into boulettes, dip into remaining beaten egg, roll in breading medium and fry in oil until golden brown.
  5. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    This dish comes from the menu of Christian's Restaurant, although it's been quite a few years and I'm not sure if they still serve it. It's still mighty good, though, and quite rich. You can vary the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your own palate; be careful not to overdo it, but the cream will help take the bite off it somewhat.

    For the cream sauce:
    3 cups heavy whipping cream
    2 cups shellfish stock or water
    1/4 cup brandy
    1 cup grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese (or domestic Parmesan, but for God's sakes don't use that crap from the green can)
    1-1/2 cups blonde roux (3/4 cup oil, 3/4 cup flour)

    For the crawfish:
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 small onion, chopped finely
    1/4 green bell pepper, chooped finely
    1/2 stalk celery, chopped finely
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
    1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
    1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (to your taste)
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 pound crawfish tails

    Heat the cream with the stock or water, then add the cheese and brandy and bring to a boil. Stir in the roux and simmer for 15 minutes; keep warm.
    Heat the butter in a skillet, then add the finely chopped onions, garlic, bell pepper and celery. Sauté for about 5 minutes until soft, translucent and fragrant. Add the crawfish, salt, thyme, red and black peppers. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, then mix in the cream sauce.

    Divide the crawfish mixture into four small gratin dishes, then top with more grated Parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler for a minute or so until the top gets slightly browned and bubbly, and serve immediately.

    YIELD: 4 servings.
  6. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    This recipe was sent in by Christy Johnson, who got it from Chef John Folse of the late, lamented Lafitte's Landing Restaurant in Donaldsonville, which unfortunately burned to the ground in late 1998.

    1 pound crawfish tails
    1 (8-ounce) package manicotti noodles
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 cup chopped onions
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    1/4 cup diced garlic
    1 whole egg
    10 ounces heavy whipping cream
    1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
    1/4 cup sliced green onions
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    salt and black pepper to taste
    Louisiana hot sauce to taste

    In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and half of the crawfish tails. Saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Remove skillet from heat and allow to cool.
    In the bowl of a food processor, place remaining crawfish and egg. Pulse mixture on high until smooth paste is formed. Add cream and herbs and continue pulsing until thoroughly blended. Season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce.

    Place mixture and sauteed vegetables and crawfish in a large mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon, mix completely.

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare noodles according to directions. Drain and allow to cool. Place crawfish mixture into a pastry bag and pipe into noodles. Place noodles in a 9" x 13" Pyrex dish and bake until thoroughly heated.

    NOTE: You may wish to pour a prepared Marinara Sauce or a mild Creole sauce over these noodles prior to baking.

    Prep time: 1 Hour
    Serves 6
  7. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    inspired by the Jazzfest
    favorite, "Crawfish Monica"®

    Kajun Kettle is a food company based in New Orleans who make a wide variety of products, from seafood gumbo to crawfish bisque, to sauces and more, but they're most famous (and justifiably so) for their marvelous dish, "Crawfish Monica"®.

    It's one of the most popular dishes served at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival; the line at the Crawfish Monica® booth is always one of longest on the Fairgrounds. You'll see why if you stand in it and buy some when you go to Jazzfest, or if you order some from Kajun Kettle to have at home. Kajun Kettle also offer a complete line of tasty dishes and sauces.

    Joe Cahn, formerly of the New Orleans School of Cooking, came up with his take on this delectable dish and taught it to his students at the school; I offer you his version below. If you can't get the real thing (and you really should sometime, either in person at Jazzfest or through mail-order), this version might be worth a try.

    This is a very simple and elegant dish, and will impress your guests in a big way. If you don't have crawfish available in your area, it works well with shrimp, oysters or crabmeat.

    1 lb. crawfish tails, boiled and peeled; OR
    1 lb. shrimp, peeled; OR
    1 lb. lump crabmeat; OR
    1 lb. oysters, drained and quartered.
    1 stick of butter (Do not use margarine.)
    1 pint of half-and-half
    1 good-sized bunch green onions, chopped (tops, too)
    3 - 10 cloves garlic, chopped (to your taste)
    Creole seasoning to taste (or 1 - 2 tbsp.)
    1 lb. cooked fresh pasta (Dry pasta is all right if fresh is not available. Rotini is preferred, but use your favorite shape.)

    Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, then rinse under cool water. Drain again, thoroughly.

    Melt the butter in a large pot and saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the seafood and saute for 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half, then add several big pinches of Creole seasoning, tasting before the next pinch until you think it's right. If you've boiled your own crawfish, save the fat and add it in as well.

    Cook for 5 - 10 minutes over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Add the pasta and toss well. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so over very low heat, stirring often. Serve immediately, with lots of French bread and a nice dry white wine.
  8. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    4 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup onion, minced
    1/4 cup scallions, minced
    1/2 cup celery, minced
    1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
    1/4 cup green bell pepper, minced
    1 tablespoon Creole seasoning blend
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons flour
    1-1/2 pounds cooked crawfish tail meat (from 8-10 pounds live crawfish), or processed crawfish tail meat (about 3 cups)
    1/2-1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup heavy cream or nonfat yogurt
    1 egg, beaten
    2 tablespoons bread crumbs
    One 9-inch piecrust, buttered

    Heat oven to 350°F and bake the pie crust (lined with parchment paper or foil and pie weights) for 8-10 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool, then increase oven temperature to 375°F.
    Boil crawfish in unseasoned water. Save as much of the fat as possible while peeling them.

    Melt butter in a large skillet. Sauté onions, scallions, celery, bell pepper, Creole seasoning and salt over medium heat. Stir occasionally until vegetables begin to wilt, about four minutes minutes. Add flour and mix well; cook 1-2 minutes to remove floury starchy taste. Remove from heat and stir in the crawfish and fat. Add garlic, return to the heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire and green onions and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in the cream or yogurt. Remove from heat and add the egg a little bit at a time, being careful not to scramble it, then stir in the bread crumbs.

    Pour into a 9 inch piecrust and brush the edge of the dough with a little olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.
  9. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    Catfish Courtbouillion: Recipe

    2 medium yellow onions, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 bunch parsley, chopped
    1 bunch green onion tops, chopped
    1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
    1 cup (8 ounces) water
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    3 pounds of catfish (preferably Spotted, but Blue may be substituted)

    Put 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a #14 cast iron pot. Put a thin layer of a mixture of all the vegetables but the green onions and parsley on the bottom of the pot. Follow with a single, loose layer of fish pieces. Sprinkle some of a mixture of the seasonings and some of the flour on top of the fish. Drizzle some of the tomato sauce and water over the seasonings. Repeat the layering process, adding more flour, seasonings, vegetables, and tomato sauce as needed until there is no more fish left. Boil, covered, over a very low heat for thirty to forty-five minutes. Add the green onions and parsley and cook for another five minutes. Serve over boiled rice.
    YIELD: serves 6
  10. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    A classic preparation with the addition of a pecan crust to the pan-fried catfish. This version is served at the fabulous Palace Café in New Orleans.

    Catfish Filets:
    6 catfish filets, 5 to 7 ounces each
    3 cups roasted pecans
    1 cup fresh bread crumbs
    1 cup seasoned flour (season with salt, black and red peppers)
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup milk
    Creole seasoning blend
    Olive oil
    Chopped parsley
    Meuniere Sauce:
    3 lemons, peeled and quartered
    7 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    3 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (UK: single cream)
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper

    Preparing the meuniere sauce: In a large sauté pan combine the lemons, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and whipping cream. Blend with a wire whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. As you stir, press gently on the lemon quarters to slowly release the juices. Slowly add the butter by pinching off a little bit at a time and squeezing it through your fingers into the sauce pan, stirring constantly (this is called mounting the butter). As you add the last of the butter, remove from heat and continue to stir. Taste, then season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine strainer. The sauce is now ready to serve; cover and keep warm.
    Preparing the catfish filets: Trim the fat and any rough edges off the catfish filets. Lightly season with Creole seasoning; place in refrigerator.

    Grind 2-1/2 cups of the pecans and the bread crumbs together in a food processor. Place in a shallow pan or plate and set aside.

    In a medium-sized bowl, make an egg wash by combining the 3 beaten eggs and 1/2 cup of milk. Set up a standard breading station on your table or counter top. Bread filets by first coating them with the seasoned flour, then placing each in the egg wash and then finally pressing each into the ground pecan/bread crumb mixture, making sure the entire filet is coated well. Refrigerate if you're unable to fry them immediately.

    Using a large skillet or sauté pan, cover the bottom with olive oil, and heat. Gently place the fish into the hot oil. Cook until lightly brown, turn fish and repeat. If fish isn't cooked all the way through, place in a shallow baking pan in a 450°F oven for about 5 minutes.

    To serve: Place one filet on the plate, drizzle with meuniere sauce, and top with the rest of the roasted pecans, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with white rice and your favorite sautéed or steamed vegetables.

    Yield: 6 servings

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