Paula Deen’s Crawfish Fettuccine

Paula Deen's Crawfish Fettuccini...mostly.
Paula Deen’s Crawfish Fettuccine…mostly.

     What do you do when you have crawfish leftover from a boil? No, really. What do you do? The easiest thing, and therefore the one I usually do, is make pasta. But I would love to hear what you do.

     I don’t know if Mrs. G was feeling bad for me for all the cooking I did this past weekend, or whether she just wanted to get into the kitchen and stretch her creative wings, but this meal is brought to you from her.  And I’m so glad she did, not only because it was AMAZING, but because if it was left up to me, we probably would have had Whataburger. 🙂

     I suppose when I was taking my usual Sunday afternoon nap, Mrs. G got online and started searching for a recipe that she wanted to make. I don’t know how long she took (although my nap was probably a good 2 hours), or what other things she looked at, but she decided to make Paula Deen’s Crawfish Fettuccine.

Sautee the onions, celery and garlic in butter
Sautee the onions, celery and garlic in butter

     Paula’s recipe serves 8-10 people. Well, there’s just two of us. We don’t mind leftovers, but that was way too much for us. Not to mention that we didn’t have enough crawfish. Mrs. G cut the recipe in half to better accommodate us.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped (Mrs. G left this out as she knows I can’t stand them. Is that love or what?)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 ounces processed cheese with jalapenos, cubed
  • 16 oz of cooked, peeled crawfish (leftovers from a Crawfish Boil work perfectly)
  • 8 oz  fettuccine, cooked
  • Fresh chopped chives, for garnish
Adding the milk
Adding the milk

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and Cajun seasoning and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Add the soup and cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.
  6. Add the crawfish, and cook until warmed through.
  7. Serve over the fettuccine. Garnish with chives, if desired.
Adding the cheese to the sauce
Adding the cheese to the sauce

     Mrs. Deen calls for processed cheese with jalapenos in her sauce. We didn’t have that on hand, so we just subbed in Velveeta. No need to make everything we eat spicy, is there?

Crawfish joining the party
Crawfish joining the party

See? I told you I was going to reveal what we did with those leftover crawfish from the crawfish boil.

Simmering away as the crawfish warm through
Simmering away as the crawfish warm through

     I sure do love crawfish! Wonder if we could tweak this sauce and come up with a killer seafood enchiladas? Hmmmm….that’s a thought for another day, back to the topic at hand.

Ready to eat!!
Ready to eat!!

     Wow!! What a decadent meal! Super rich and creamy. Full of flavor. Hope you aren’t on a diet or watching your calories or health. Recipes like this probably didn’t help Paula avoid diabetes. Is that too mean to say? I suppose if you limit how often you eat dishes like this, you’ll be ok. It was really tasty. I don’t think it lacked anything for not having processed cheese with jalapenos or the bell pepper. Mrs. G did comment on how she would like to tweak this to limit the amount of butter and fat in it. Try to make it more healthy. I’m all for that. While it was good, I can’t eat food like that every day. Probably shouldn’t eat it more than once a week, if that. But a life of boring bland food is a life not worth living!! So enjoy. And maybe pencil in a walk or a workout for later.

 

***Update***

     Sometimes (like  when I’m on top of my game), we do the cooks and write them up and schedule them for later. This cook was actually done Sunday and I wrote it up Monday and Tuesday even though it wasn’t scheduled to be posted until Friday. I don’t know if ironic is the word, maybe it was just karma biting me in the ass. Anyways….went to the doctor on Wednesday and it turns out I have diabetes. Guess maybe I shouldn’t have made that comment in the last paragraph. Whoops. Never fear! We are going to tackle this thing head on and follow the doctor’s orders. Sure, I’m going to have to learn to adjust my lifestyle and eating habits, but we are going to continue to bring you great tasting food, I promise!  Just maybe not like this dish represented here. But still…good food. Hope y’all have a great weekend and a Happy Easter.

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Crawfish Boil

Crawfish Boil
Crawfish Boil

     Crawfish season is here!! And has been for a while, this is just our first home made batch this year. One of my favorite seasonal foods. You may call them crawfish, or crayfish or even mudbugs. Me? I just call them good. This post is going to be more about technique than it is about any specific recipe. Thing is, I don’t really have a recipe. Just a bit of this, some of that, and a little of this and you got yourself some Good Eats as Alton Brown would say. The amounts used in this batch was for 6 adults.

Mudbugs!! 15 lbs of mudbugs to be specific!
Mudbugs!! 15 lbs of mudbugs to be specific!

     First thing you want to do when you get your live crawfish is to dump them into a cooler and fill with cold water. If you are going to cook them soon or its chilly out, there’s no need to ice them down. If it’s a hot day or you are going to wait before cooking them, add some ice with the water. The reason you want them in cold water is not just to keep them alive and fresh, but you also want to “clean them out”. If you haven’t done this before, you’ll see what I mean. The water is going to get really dirty. I recommend draining and refilling it a couple of times until the water is clean. Not necessary, but it can be pretty nasty looking.

The setup
The setup

    While you can do a boil inside, I wouldn’t recommend it. One, if you are doing a big batch, it’s going to take forever to get that water boiling. Two, it’s going to be messy. Three, your house is going to smell. Plus, it’s just more fun to cook outside. You are going to need a propane tank, a propane burner (you should be able to find one for about $25), and an aluminum pot with strainer (starting around $40 depending on how large of one you get)

     Once you have your equipment all hooked up, fill up your pot about halfway and set on top of burner. Add your seafood boil spices. I like to use Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil.

Zatarain's Extra Spicy Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil
Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil

     How much you add is going to depend on the amount you are cooking and your level of heat tolerance. I like to go with about a cup and half to two cups.  At this point, add 2 lemons that have been sliced in half. Give them a good squeeze into the water before dropping them in. Bring your water up to a boil. After the water begins to  boil, add in some red potatoes. This will vary on your crowd and how hungry they are, but I figure about 2 per person works out pretty good. Let those boil for about 5 minutes and then add your corn. I like to cut each cob into 1/3 and for this batch added in a total of 4 corn cobs.

Tater and corn boiling away
Tater and corn boiling away

    Allow the corn and taters to boil for another 5 minutes, add in some andouille sausage. Our family likes sausage, so we added in 2lbs of sliced andouille sausage. Allow to boil for 5 more minutes and then turn off flame.

     Finally, add in 1 lb of button mushrooms and your crawfish and allow to steep in the water. Don’t worry if they all won’t fit in. We had 15lbs and they didn’t all fit in. Just add what you can and allow them to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. The longer they steep, the spicier they will be. If you have more crawfish, drain the contents of the strainer and dump into a clean ice chest. Return the pot to the burner and restart the flame. Bring the water back up to a boil. At this point, you may want to add another 1/2 cup of seasoning. Once the water is boiling rapidly (which should only take a few minutes), turn the flame off and add the rest of the crawfish. Allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Adding the mudbugs!
Adding the mudbugs!

    Now, the best way to serve crawfish is to line an outdoor table with some type of water proof liner. I like to slice open trash bags until they are a flat sheet and then duct tape them down to a table, others use butcher paper or newspaper (but I find it will leak through to the table). Then simple dump out all the drained boil onto the table and stand back while the hoards attack. Unfortunately, we don’t have an outdoor table, so we opted to be a bit more civilized and used a few big platters.

The "more civilized" serving option
The “more civilized” serving option

     Make sure to have plenty of paper towels and large bowls to throw the head and shells as well as the cobs. Turn on some jazz music, dig in and pretend you are in New Orleans. An ice cold Abita might help with the illusion. 🙂

    Mrs. G wanted to add some artichokes to the boil, but the store was out. Tell me about your boils. What other ingredients do you like in your boils? Do you “suck the heads”? That’s where all the good stuff and spice is. 😉 How many pounds can you eat?

     And FYI, we had 6 adults eating 15 lbs of crawfish. The next day Mrs. G and I shelled the remaining crawfish…we had 12 oz remaining. Tune in tomorrow to see what we did with it.

Ok, ok, so you still want a recipe? Here’s a loose list for 6 people, adjust to your crowd and what you like. There’s really no wrong or right.

  • 15 lbs of live crawfish
  • 12 red potatoes
  • 4 ears of corn (cut into 1/3)
  • 2 lbs of andouille mushrooms
  • 1 lb of white button mushrooms
  • 2 lemons, sliced in half
  • Big ole jar of Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil