Cajun seafood stuffed pork loin and crawfish/crab/"tasso" etouffee--NOW WITH QVIEW!!

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
Apr 30, 2016
Displaced Texan in Door County WI
So, ladies and gents, what the heck to do on a 32-degree day with sustained 25 mph wind and no fresh snow anywhere??  Should we try and get some charcoal and wood chunks lit and maintained without them either getting blown out, temps yo-yoing all over the smoker, or burning the neighborhood down with stray sparks??  HELL YEAH!!

OK, one out of 3 ain't bad:  I think the homes were spared.  At least I didn't hear any fire trucks rolling, so I'll take that as a good sign.  I'll have the recap and pics up tomorrow--ca c'est bon!!
Moi??  Nahhh, can't be....     
Alright, here we go.  Had seen a stuffed loin recently (thanks, Charlie!), and it got me thinking about something that I really loved, and that was pretty much anything stuffed with crab and crawfish:  chicken breasts, sole, flounder, pork chops, etc.  I thought why not try it on a pork loin--if it's awesome inside a pork chop, why wouldn't it be equally so in a loin?  So I decided to do it on a really windy day, which made the challenge all the more fun.  Started with onions and bells, little bit of salt and cayenne, and sweated them for a couple of minutes in EVOO.  In went a mix of crawfish tails and crab claw meat, along with some green onions, garlic, Italian parsley, Lea & Perrins, and Crystal for about 5 minutes, then cooled for 10 minutes.  Transferred to mixing bowl and added breadcrumbs, egg, and Parmesan cheese.  All blended together and ready for Miss Piggy:

Butterflied the half-loin and spread out the seafood mix accordingly.

I carved off about a pound and a half from the loin:  I wanted some plain just because, and some to have some "tasso" for the upcoming dish as well.  Stuffed was only salted and peppered on the inside, and the smaller piece had SPOG, Slap Yo' Mamma and paprika.  This needed to be a fairly fast cook, because I didn't want the bugs to turn into handballs with a long, protracted smoke.  Planned on a little over 2 hours at around 325, with an indirect cherry smoke bath.  All dressed up and on the cooker:  not the best 'fly and trussing job in the world, but I wasn't looking much for style points, either.

As I'd planned on having more bugs and claw meat than the stuffing required, I then turned to the other matter at hand:  etouffee.  For those who haven't had the pleasure, a good etouffee is Cajun heaven on earth.  It literally translates to "smothered" and is very versatile, as you can use crawfish, crab, shrimp, chicken, duck, pork, rabbit--literally any protein that you can think of will work.  Started with the trinity.

Sauteed them with butter and EVOO,  Once translucent, added some chopped cherry tomatoes and garlic and let them go another couple of minutes.  From there, I added 2 cups of seafood stock and brought to a boil.  In went a couple of bay leaves, about 3 TBS of Crystal, 1 TBS of Slap Yo' Mama, scant tsp of salt, and 1 tsp each of black and cayenne.  One suggestion:  I will save shells from prior grill cooks (lobster, shrimp) and boils (crawfish, crab, shrimp), freeze them, and will do a big pot of stock OUTSIDE (made the mistake of inside once and Mamma said never again! 
) from time to time, and freeze in 2 cup quantities.  Just have to pull them out, nuke them, and ready to go.

After letting simmer for about a half hour, in went the crustacean mouth candy.

I pulled the smaller loin piece, as I wanted some of this smoky goodness in with the etouffee:  150 IT, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before cutting.  Not truly tasso, but still had a good smoky, Cajun flavor to it similar to tasso.

Chopped some of it and it went in with green onions and parsley, and then, something I'd not done with etouffee before:  starch and water slurry to tighten it up.  Call it cheating, call it an outrage, call it whatever:  this etouffee didn't have a roux to start, but wasn't by design.  As I'd mentioned, I was battling with the elements outside, and was literally in and out all afternoon in an attempt to keep some modicum of constant temp, and for those of you who have cooked a good, dark peanut butter colored roux, you know that Louisiana napalm is not something you can turn away from for an instant. 

Let it run for another 5 minutes, dropped in a quarter-stick of butter, and removed from heat.  Good to go.

Back to the smoke:  pulled the stuffed loin at an IT of about 150 as well, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cash money. 

Plated up and good to go:  picture's blurred because I was shaking too hard with anticipation and excitement to hold still.  
  Etouffee, baked tater, and stuffed loin.

So there you have it, boys and girls.  I'd do both again and again:  my wife said next time to just bake the stuffing and not bother with butterflying the loin.  When pressed why, she said so that she could eat that all by itself, it was that good.  Doing an etouffee without a roux was different, but quite frankly, it was still "knock your socks off" good.  Thanks for the look, enjoy your week, and happy smokes!!
OMG!!!! That looks like I should be eating this as a regular item!!!! That looks and sounds completely awesome..... Way to go........ Ok I am envious.    Point
Yep, worth the wait!  All of it looks great, but that stuffing mixture sounds AWESOME!

Point for the work and the ideas!
No, thank you, CB:  you pulled one of these together in the last couple of weeks, and lit the fire under my arse.  Stuffing was mouthgasmic:  appreciate the point!
OMG!!!! That looks like I should be eating this as a regular item!!!! That looks and sounds completely awesome..... Way to go........ Ok I am envious.    Point
ABC, thanks for the props and point.  Although I've always contended that if I lived in Cajun/Creole country, I'd weigh 700 and change!
Well done! That looks delicious! Point!
Many thanks, MOI:  see, this wasn't full of fail after all, now was it??  
    Just havin' a little fun:  dirtsailor style! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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