Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Crawfish... Tex-Mex Style

What happens when you mix a little dirty South with some Tex-Mex? No, this is not a joke (though I'm sure there is one out there)... just the makings of a completely fun Friday meal. And I'm sure you're saying but it's Wednesday... well this was last Friday's delicious meal. It just took this long to actually put it into words.
I'm not sure what I'd call this. A mishmash of ingredients, a Mexi-Cajun fusion casserole. What I can tell you is how ecstatic I was wandering through Whole Foods, my Friday treat to myself, and saw those little red critters in the seafood section. A complete no-brainer. The roasted ratatouille I had initially planned to shop for was cast aside in my mind... but how exactly could I use the crawfish in a dish outside of just pouring old bay seasoning over and serving up with corn and potatoes? Besides these were already cooked. A casserole formed in my head... like a grits casserole, but with hominy as the base, then layered with some sauteed vegetables like okra, onion and chayote (looks like a green apple but tastes like a sharper squash) infused with some chile powder or even old bay, then topped with earthy huitlacoche and some lovely, melt-y queso oaxaca. Then the crawfish tails. All roasted and then sprinkled with  chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. What a delicious little accident of a meal.

Mexi-Cajun Crawfish Casserole
1 lb. cooked crawfish- removed and de-shell the tails (can use the rest for seafood stock)
1 can hominy- drained and rinsed
1 c. chopped fresh okra
1 chayote chopped- can use squash or zucchini if you can't find chayote
1 onion- diced
1 clove of garlic- chopped
1 tsp. chile powder- or 1 tsp. old bay- depending on preference
1 c. cilantro
1/2 c. queso oaxaca- chopped or grated
1/4 or 1/2 lime
1/2 can of huitlacoche
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a saute pan, heat oil and add the onion, garlic, okra and chayote until slightly browned. Pour drained and rinsed hominy into the base of a small casserole dish. Top with the sauteed vegetables. Open can of huitlacoche and spoon 1/2 of it over the vegetables. Add the cheese.

2. Remove crawfish tails from the shells and rinse to get off any muck. 1 pound will result in about 15 tails, so plan accordingly if  making for several people. Scatter evenly on top of the casserole. Bake for 15-20 and then set to broil for the last 1-2 minutes to get it all nice and browned. Remove and let cool. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and serve with lime quarters to squeeze over.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness this looks delicious!!



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