Louisiana Crawfish Pies

Makes 12. Recipe is by Nathan Gresham, executive chef and co-owner of Beausoleil, 7731 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge.

1 tbl. grape seed oil

½ yellow onion, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 tsp. chopped fresh garlic

1 lb. crawfish tail meat, with fat

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

1?3 cup Madeira wine

2 green onions, chopped

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Juice of 1 fresh lemon

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 recipe Meat Pie Dough

Vegetable oil for frying

Rémoulade sauce, ranch dressing, or pepper jelly for dipping

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat oil and sauté onion, bell pepper and celery until tender. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

2. Add crawfish and stir. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook 2 more minutes, and deglaze with wine.

3. Add green onions and cheese. Stir and cook until cheese is melted. Add lemon juice and flour. Stir until flour is blended in well. Adjust seasoning. Set aside to cool.

4. Cut dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a 10-inch circle. Cut out 12 circles of dough with a 4-inch biscuit cutter. Place a heaping tablespoon of crawfish filling in middle of each dough circle and rub edges with water. Fold dough over and crimp with a fork to close and seal.

5. Heat 2 inches oil in a fryer to 350 degrees and fry pies until golden brown, flipping half way through. Drain on paper towels. Serve with desired dipping sauce.

Meat Pie Dough

4 cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. iodized salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2 large eggs

1¼ cups milk

¾ cup Crisco, melted

1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder.

2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mix with milk and melted Crisco.

3. Place flour mixture in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. On medium speed, slowly add the liquid and mix until well-incorporated. If needed, add more flour, a little at a time, until desired texture. Dough should not be too sticky.

4. On a floured board, knead dough until it forms a smooth ball.