Last Saturday my family went to a place that I hadn’t known existed before that day: The Crawfish Stand.
This little place, located in Big Sandy, Texas, is quite dive-y, if you know what I mean, but it’s also pretty cool, and many agree, based upon the vast number of people who were there the day we were.
The front of the place looks about the same as a trailer you’d find people making funnel cakes and hot dogs in at the fair. Folks were standing in line waiting with coolers for their turn to nab some of the fattest, freshest crawdads in East Texas.
Behind the trailer front of the building was an addtion; it was a long dining area with woodchip floors and picnic tables running up and down each side of the area, and it was full most of the time we were there.
Now, I’m not a fan of mudbugs, crawfish, or whatever else you want to call them, but most everyone else in our family likes them, so we ordered many pounds of them, while I ordered some shrimp, instead.
Crawfish season is short, really, so when we go somewhere to eat them during the season, my guys load up on them to eat as many as they can. Here are a recipe and some pictures from The Crawfish Stand; hope they inspire you to get out and get some for yourself before the season ends!
First, the recipe, which is from my sweet friend Michele’s website, La Belle Cuisine, is for Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Crawfish Enchiladas con Queso. To me, it seems like it’d be good even to non-crawfish fans, so I wanted to share with you.
Crawfish Enchiladas con Queso
Makes 10 servings
“This recipe works equally well substituting 3 pounds of
peeled medium-size shrimp for the crawfish. The sauce is
also great over spaghetti or rice.”
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, in all
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup canned green chilies, drained and chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
2 3/4 teaspoons salt, in all
2 3/4 teaspoons white pepper, in all
1 1/2 teaspoons, in all, ground red pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, in all
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup dairy sour cream
8 cups, in all, grated Monterey Jack cheese or
other white (nonprocessed) cheese, 2 pounds
2 pounds peeled crawfish tails
2/3 cup very finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup vegetable oil
20 (6-inch) corn tortillas
In a large skillet melt 1 stick [1/2 cup] of the butter. Add the onions, green chilies, bell peppers, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, 3/4 teaspoon of the white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of the red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of the oregano and
the garlic. Sauté over medium hear for 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in
the heavy cream and bring mixture to a rapid boil; then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sour cream; with
a metal whisk, beat continuously until the sour cream is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of the cheese and stir until melted. Set the sauce aside.
In a 4-quart saucepan melt the remaining 1 stick [1/2 cup] butter. Add the crawfish, green onions and the remaining 11/2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons white pepper, 1 teaspoon red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Sauté over medium heat for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cheese
sauce to the crawfish mixture and stir well. Simmer until the flavors are
well blended, about 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
In a small skillet heat the oil to about 325 degrees F. Holding tortillas one
at a time with metal tongs, dip each into the hot oil just long enough to
soften, about 1 second on each side; drain on paper towels. Spoon about
1/3 cup crawfish sauce on each tortilla and roll up tortilla.
For the prettiest presentation, broil the enchiladas: Put them all, seam
side down, in a flameproof baking dish; or place two on each individual (flameproof) serving plate. Cover each enchilada from end to end with a generous amount of additional sauce, then sprinkle each with 1/4 cup
cheese. Place the baking dish (or two or three individual plates at a time) under a broiler near the flame until the cheese melts and begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Or, bake the enchiladas in a 350 degrees F. oven until
the cheese melts, about 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately. Note: If you choose to finish the enchiladas in one large baking dish, serve them on
Now, on to the pictures of our visit to The Crawfish Stand:
Now, I will leave you with one more recipe from Chef Prudhomme; this one I found on his website, which you can visit here.
Crawfish, Shrimp, or Crabmeat Pasta
Makes 2 main-dish or 4 side-dish servings
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions just to al dente stage; immediately drain and rinse with hot water to wash off starch, then with cold water to stop the cooking process; drain again. (To prevent the pasta from sticking together, pour a very small amount of oil in the palm of your hand and rub through the pasta after rinsing.)
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the Seafood Magic and the green onions and sauté 1 to 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Gradually add the half & half, either stirring or shaking the pan in a back-and- forth motion until the mixture reaches a boil. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens somewhat, continuing to shake the pan, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the seafood and bring to a boil. Add the cooked spaghetti; toss and stir until spaghetti is heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!
NOTE: If you want to add even more flavor to this dish, include 1/4 cup diced tasso (preferred) or other smoked ham (preferably Cure 81).
Now, go get your crawfish before it’s too late, and enjoy!