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The Hirshon Cajun Crawfish Bisque


  • Total Time: 0 hours

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • CRAWFISH:
  • 12 pounds boiled crawfish OR 2 pounds tail meat and 35 cleaned heads
  • If purchasing tail meat, buy at least 3 pounds boiled crawfish; peel, reserve shells and heads
  • ***
  • STUFFING:
  • 1/4 cup flour for roux
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup chopped crawfish tails
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour for rolling heads
  • ***
  • BISQUE:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oil (ideally partly made from oil used to roast a head of garlic)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green poblano or ancho pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 quarts crawfish stock*
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 clove roasted garlic (optional)
  • 2 cups crawfish tails
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves (optional, if not using increase parsley by 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. Cognac or brandy
  • 1/2 tbsp. absinthe (optional but recommended – if not available, use cognac or brandy)

Instructions

  1. For the stuffing:
  2. Make a dark brown roux with the flour and oil. Add onions, then bell pepper and celery and cook until tender. Add tomato paste and chopped tails.
  3. Add seasonings and simmer on low flame 10 to 15 minutes. Add bread crumbs, crawfish, parsley and butter. Fill each head with stuffing. Roll in flour and bake for 15 minutes in a 300-degree oven. Set aside.
  4. For the bisque:
  5. Make a dark brown roux with the oil and flour, stirring constantly over medium-high heat until desired color is reached.
  6. Add onion, the poblano or ancho pepper and celery and cook until tender. Add stock, seasonings, tomato sauce, cognac and absinthe and garlic and simmer for 40 minutes.
  7. Add crawfish tails and stuffed heads and simmer another 20 minutes. Add parsley, tarragon (if using) and celery leaves.
  8. *To make stock, boil shells from at least 3 pounds crawfish, plus trimmings from onions and other vegetables. Cover with water 2 inches over the shells and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
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