Jyl Benson’s Crawfish Bread
Makes 6 loaves. Recipe is from Jyl Benson, New Orleans, who says, “When my sister came home from Chicago for Easter, I surprised her with a massive spread that included homemade Crawfish Bread. It’s pretty much a dead ringer for the stuff Panaroma Foods sells at the Jazz Fest. In figuring out how to make it, I feel as though I have cracked the nuclear code.”
1/4 cup salted butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound peeled Louisiana crawfish tails with fat
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 tablespooons Tabasco
Creole seasoning to taste
3 loaves (148-ounce package) Bridgeford brand bread dough, defrosted
11/2 cups shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
11/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Melted butter for brushing
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the bell pepper and garlic and cook until the pepper is tender but the garlic is not brown, about 8 minutes.
2. Add the crawfish, green onion, hot sauce and Creole seasoning. Mix well. Cook for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Cover and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Roll each loaf of bread dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 20-inch-by-5-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle in half lengthwise. Spoon about 1/2 cup of crawfish mixture into center of each piece and top with 1/4 cup of each type of cheese. Fold dough over and pinch edges to seal, fully enclosing filing. Repeat with remaining dough and crawfish mixture.
5. Place the loaves on a greased baking sheet, brush with melted butter and cook until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve warm.
Note: Loaves may be cooked halfway, cooled and frozen. Bring to room temperature, unwrap and complete cooking to serve.