CRAWFISH BISQUE

Serves 6. Recipe is from “The Evolution of Cajun and Creole Cuisine” by John Folse.

For stuffing:

60 cleaned crawfish heads

2 pounds cleaned crawfish tails

2 cups diced onions

2 cups diced celery

1 cup diced bell pepper

2 tablespoons diced garlic

1 cup diced parsley

4 slices day-old bread

3 eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups vegetable oil

2 cups unseasoned flour

1. Ask your seafood supplier to clean 60 crawfish heads for this dish. The heads may be frozen for an extended period of time. Prior to using, you may wish to soak the heads overnight in cold soda water.

2. Grind crawfish tails, onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, parsley and bread in a home-style meat grinder. Once ground, add eggs and season to taste using salt and pepper. Stuff equal amounts into the 60 crawfish heads and set aside.

3. In a sauté pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Dust stuffed heads in the flour and then sauté until golden brown. Remove the browned stuffed heads and drain well.

For sauce:

11/2 cups vegetable oil

11/2 cups flour

1 cup diced onions

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced bell pepper

1 tablespoon diced garlic

1 pound cleaned crawfish tails

1/2 cup tomato sauce

31/2 quarts crawfish stock or water

1 cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped parsley

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Cooked white rice, for serving

Dash of Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce

1. In a two-gallon stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and using a wire whip, stir constantly until dark brown roux is achieved. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until vegetables are wilted, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add crawfish tails and tomato sauce, blending well into vegetable mixture. Slowly add crawfish stock or water, a little at a time, until all is incorporated. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes.

3. Add stuffed crawfish heads and continue to cook 30 additional minutes, stirring occasionally as mixture will settle to the bottom and burn. Add green onions and parsley and season to taste using salt and pepper.

4. Serve in a 10-ounce soup bowl over white rice using a few dashes of Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce.