Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crawfish Stuffed Mushrooms Appetizer

   Crawfish are amazing.  Don't know what a crawfish is?  Ever heard of a Crayfish or a craw dad.... same thing.  However, they are not widely eaten outside of the deep south near the gulf where the swamps provide literally tons of these tasty little crustaceans each year.  Louisiana cooking is most famous for their use.  Crawfish boils are a community event.  When I was at LSU (let's not talk about the over all experience) there was a HUGE boil in the quad.  Some restaurants even discard their regular menus on certain nights and serve only boiled crawfish (with corn and potatoes, of course).  The tables are covered with newspaper and the whole pot is literally just dumped on to the table.  Think of it as the Southern equivalent to a New England clam bake.  This is a wonderful part of my childhood that I remember fondly, if not a little grossly (head sucking was beyond my kid-gut's comprehension.)
  picture from FoodNetwork.com

   Unfortunately this meal time phenomenon is not often found or experienced outside of Louisiana.  But I can get my crawfish fix when I need it.  Many large grocery stores carry peeled, cooked, frozen tails.  Look in the frozen seafood section.  Even my local Walmart has them.  Can't find them or don't want to order them (see link at the bottom of page)?  You can just as easily used chopped shrimp for this recipe.

Crawfish Stuffed Mushrooms 
6 oz crawfish tails, thawed if frozen
8 stuffing mushroom caps (3" diameter)
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 small green bell pepper, diced (1/4 of a large pepper)
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tsp butter
2 tsp flour
1/3 C chicken or seafood stock
3/4-1 tsp Tony Chachere's (or any seasoning salt, or just salt and pepper)
Dash of hot sauce (to taste)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

   In a tiny bit of oil, saute onion and bell pepper until soft (5 min.)  Add garlic, thyme, and Tony Chachere's.  Cook 1 min.  Melt in butter.  Add flour.  Stir constantly to avoid lumps.  Cook 2-3 minutes.  Add stock.  Stir constantly.  Mixture will thicken.  If it gets too gummy and thick, add a little more stock.  Add hot sauce and crawfish tails.
   Clean mushrooms.  Scrape gills out from the underside.  Even distribute filling between mushrooms.  Sprinkle a little bit of grated parmesan cheese over the top of each mushroom.  Place on a baking rack inside a roasting pan (this will catch all the liquid released from the mushrooms.)
   Bake 350 deg F for 15-20 min.
   Serves 4 (2 mushrooms for an appetizer)
Order Crawfish Here:
Louisiana Crawfish Co.
Kyle LeBlanc Crawfish Farm

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