Crawfish. crayfish, crawdad, craydad, mudbud bug, etc etc etc.... You know that the person who first decided to eat one was hungry with loads of time on his hands. But doesn't matter what you call 'em, here in Louisiana we call 'em good! I could start a 'Forest Gump' continious chain of crawfish dishes but you realize we eat them. A lot! When ever possible.
This is bisque, to many and myself included, consider this the crowning achievement of those swamp bugs raised to the top of the culinary pyamid. It probably takes more time to prepare than any other dish but possibly a terrine or an aspic.
I am not doing the head stuffing today. Know you first must catch, boil and peel the crawfish. Or if they are the freezer, blanch, dehead, bag & tag. Then you have to pick out the largest and best head, debone them, remove the eyes, anntenna, and clean the shell. Then after a day in vinegar water, you make a stuffing, stuff the head, roll it in bread crumbs and fry or bake it. Then its in the freezer till you decide to make a bisque.
Now that all being done.................
Unlike my Mom and all the little old ladies I know, After peeling the crawfish tails, I make stock from the shells. It just adds extra flavor.
And it yeilded
I always start my rice first when cooking a rice dish, because? Because I am there and intent on the cook at the begining where I can get distracted with other 'projects' later on.
My rice of choice, Long grain Mahatma for this dish.
If we have crawfish shells, there must be crawfish somewhere. Also its in the original water because its where the fat is. Fat is important.
OK, time to pull our spices, its a long list. Cayenne, tabasco, salt, and thyme. OK, Ok.... I was out of fresh thyme, ok?
Next its my favorite part of cooking, slicing and dicing, and I guess some chopping too!
Onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, parsley, and green onion. The green onion is really important because its added the last second of plating and has a great taste and beautiful crunchie bite!
Now we have it all ready and assembled........ so whats first? Of course its the roux!
This is a lightly different roux, its made with butter. In the begining it was one of the hardest rouxs to muster because that butter burns if you sneeze. The trick , and I'll share, is to use a small amount of peanut oil with the butter.
We make a roux, add the onions when the desired color /taste is achieved to help cool it down and stop the cooking. Then the garlic, don't burn it. once the onions are tender and the garlic is all happy, add the celery, bell pepper, and parsley.
Cook it down. That is the water from the crawfish with the fat/butter in it. I have the crawfish broth still reserved in case I need it, (I always do).
These are the crawfish, the asked for a better more personal shot.
Oh look the rice is done.
Oh did I forget the stuffed heads?
Seriously thats an all day job, seems to me there was something just less of 100 in the last batch. I love ya but you still only get 4 heads per bowl at my house.
So the crawfish are in the pot, I added some broth to thin it. BTW bisque is a really heavy thick dish. It would stand on top of the rice instead of surrounding it like soup. Its like a chowdar.
So in the go!
And it cooks alittle longer.
Lookin Good! Did I not meantion I am on a cornbread kick? Gotta get that cornbread back to where it was last year. Besides I like cornbread. Today cornbread muffins.
I am working on it OK, they are getting better, but that taste good.
And then there was supper!
Its like smoking, baking, wine making, It takes awhile but well worth it if ya can find the mudbugs!
One day to catch, one day to peel and put up, one day to make the stuffed heads, and a day to assemble.
But its deffinately worth it.
I hope you all get a chance someday to try it.