Louisiana Crawfish-Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese With Smoked Tomato-Shrimp Bisque
Serves 4. Recipe is by chef Carl Schaubhut, of Café Adelaide, New Orleans.
1 pound Louisiana crawfish tails
4 ounces mayonnaise or aïoli
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
4 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning of choice
1 ounce chopped herbs (thyme, parsley, green onions)
8 slices thick, hearty, tasty bread such brioche, wheat berry or focaccia
1. Mix together all ingredients except bread slices and butter. Chill thoroughly.
2. Divide crawfish mixture onto 4 sandwiches. Spread outsides of bread slices with butter and sauté in skillet until brown on both sides. Finish in 350 F oven for 5 minutes until hot through.
3. If desired, serve with Smoked Tomato-Shrimp Bisque and a salad of pickled chilies and arugula dressed with basil oil and cane vinegar.
Smoked Tomato-Shrimp Bisque
2 ounces canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 red bell pepper, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ pound shrimp shells
5 smoked Creole-style tomatoes, skins removed
1 (32-ounce) can imported tomatoes, peeled, whole
5 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 ounces brandy
2 ounces Worcestershire sauce
2 ounces Crystal hot sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces sugarcane vinegar
1 cup cream
½ pound rice, cooked
1. In a large pot over medium fire, canola oil and add diced onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté with salt and pepper for 5 minutes, encourage browning of vegetables.
2. Add shrimp shells, and brown 5 more minutes. Deglaze with crushed smoked and canned tomatoes. Scrape bottom of pot to release brown bits. Make a thyme and bay leaf sachet tied with butcher’s twine and add to pot. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer 20 minutes.
3. Add brandy, rice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, sugar, vinegar, and remove from heat. REMOVE SACHET.
4. Puree mixer in a very powerful blender in batches. Strain through fine mesh strainer. Add cream; taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Reserve hot.