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What’s Cooking in March?

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If I have a favorite family day, it certainly occurs during crawfish season. As a child, my daddy would take us “crawfishing.” We used set nets, which was basically a triangular-looking wire frame with a net on the bottom, often baited with chicken necks or beef melt. The net would be placed in a shallow ditch or swampy area near the edge of the water. To place the net out and also check the net, we would use a long pole with a nail on the end. The nail on the end of the pole keeps the net from sliding off when it’s lifted out of the water. Usually (and hopefully), it’s filled with crawling mudbugs, but sometimes other creatures would dine in as well – like snakes!

It’s rare that you hear of anyone going “crawfishing” anymore. The kids today don’t know what they are missing. Of course in my family we now get our “select” crawfish from some 200 acres of ponds at Ourso Farms in Bayou Goula. A few hundred pounds is usually sufficient for lunch, with enough remaining to peel and make crawfish stew for dinner. Those leftover potatoes from the crawfish boil become potato salad. Cook some rice and the day will end in a grand finale of good food and good family times. Here is a great recipe your family will surely enjoy.

 

Crawfish Stew

Ingredients:

– 1 cup vegetable oil

– 1 cup flour

– 2 cups onions, diced

– 1 cup celery, diced

– 1 cup bell pepper, diced

– 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

– 1-ten ounce can diced

– Rotel tomatoes

– 8 cups water or chicken stock

– 2 tbsp. chicken bouillon

– 1 tbsp. salt

– 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

– ½ tsp. black pepper

– 1 tbsp. sugar

– 2 large bay leaves

– 2 shakes Louisiana Hot sauce

– 1/2 tsp. liquid crab boil

– ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

– 2 pounds crawfish tails

– 2 cups sliced green onions

Preparation:

In an eight-quart heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium to high heat. Stir in flour, and continue to stir until the roux is a copper color. Be careful as this is very hot. When roux is ready, add onions, celery, and bell pepper. Lower heat and add garlic. Let cook about five minutes for vegetables to caramelize. Add Rotel and water (or stock). Blend well, making sure roux has dissolved. Bring to a low simmer and add chicken bouillon, salt, peppers, sugar, bay leaves, hot sauce, crab boil, and parsley. Cook about one hour, stirring often. When stew cooks down to a nice, slightly thick consistency, add crawfish and green onions. Cook about five minutes longer and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Serve over white rice.

About 8-10 servings

 

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