CRAWFISH BISQUE


Crawfish bisque

Last summer was a good time for crawfish.  We had some excellent catches and made some great recipes.  After one of those great meals, I took all of the heads and tails of the left over crawfish and transformed them into stock.

It is fairly simple to make a crawfish broth.  You will need a large stock pot.  First, I took the leftover crawfish and rinsed them in cold water to clean off any residue from the boil. I then sauteed two minced shallots and 2 cloves garlic in olive oil.  I then added two chopped carrots, one chopped onion and 2 chopped celery stocks.  Once the vegetables were soft, I added the crawfish bodies.  As I stirred the crawfish, I also smashed the bodies to expose the meat and juices.  Use the entire crawfish, most of the flavor will come from the heads.  Once the bodies are smashed and browned, I added about 3 gallons off water to the pot.  The amount of water will differ based on the amount of crawfish you are using.  Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Let the crawfish simmer for about 3-4 hours and the water will have reduce in half.  Strain the stock and discard the bodies and vegetables. After stirring the stock, I then run it through a China hat to get rid of any larger pieces that passed through the initial strain.

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Once you have made your stock you can use it in many different crawfish recipes.  I like to use my stock to make soups.  My favorite crawfish soup is crawfish Bisque.  The following is the recipe I like to use for my crawfish bisque.

CRAWFISH BISQUE

Ingredients

  • 12lb crawfish tails
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4  cup dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paparika
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 quart crawfish stock
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. In a saute pan heat a little oil over med-high heat and saute shallots, onions, and garlic for one minute.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
  3. Add the Tabasco, and thyme and saute for another minute.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the sherry.
  5. Add the paprika, and crawfish stock base and combine well.
  6. Stir in tomato paste and add the bay leaves.
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Whisk in heavy cream and the butter and bring to a boil.
  9. Add the crawfish tails and simmer until cooked through.
  10. Garnish each bowl with chopped chives and a few whole boiled crawfish.  Shrimp makes a great substitute if whole crawfish are not available.

If you would like to learn more about how to catch crawfish or cook them “The Crawfish, From Pond To Plate” on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ED47QVA

 

 

Wood Oven Roasted Clams


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In my mind there is nothing more satisfying then wood roasted shellfish on a perfect summer evening!  Lobster, mussels, crab, clams and shrimp all served hot and fresh from the wood oven as they simmer in a bath of butter, wine and their own delicious juices.  Fresh shellfish will infuse the dish with the salinity and flavor of the ocean and make the meal more memorable!  The smoke from the hardwood also adds a slight smokiness that elevates the dish to the next level.

The best shellfish for this recipe are those that have been harvested just minutes or a few hours from their briny homes.  I live in Utah so the best I can do is shellfish that is a day old.  While they are still good to eat, they are not as heavenly on the tongue as fresh ones straight from the ocean to your plate!

The following recipe works great with clams or mussels.  If you are lucky enough to live by a beach or bay that has a population of edible clams and mussels then it is easy and inexpensive to gather your own shellfish for this recipe.  In most states, it is necessary to have a fishing license to collect clams and mussels.  Certain states may also have seasons for the collection of clams and mussels.  It is very important that you have the proper licenses and know the season dates before you gather your shellfish. Check your states fish and wildlife website for regulations and license requirements.

Ingredients

Oak or Cherry Wood.

Cast Iron Skillet.

1 stick of butter.

2 pounds clams or mussels.

5 cloves of garlic.

1 cup of a good white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Directions

Place oak or cherry wood in oven and start fire.  Heat oven until temperature on the floor is between 750 – 850 degrees. Push coals and wood to one side of the oven.

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Scrub clams or mussels until clean.

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Place shellfish in cast iron skillet and add the olive oil, wine and butter to the skillet.

Place the skillet into the wood oven and cook until clams open.  If the wood oven is at the prescribed temperature, this should only take about 3-5 minutes. The juices will also cook rapidly.

Remove the skillet from the oven and sprinkle with parsley.  Stir gently to incorporate the parsley into the sauce and clams.

Taste broth and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a good crusty bread to sop up all the juices!

Clams

The New Wild Forage Cookbook


This is the new Wild Forage Cookbook!  Check it out, I think you will like it.  Available in both Kindlel and paperback.

KINDLE

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UCHFYMU

PAPERBACK

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1507711255

The Crawfish – From Pond To Plate


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.99 CENTS

My book “The Crawfish” is on sale on Amazon.com.  It is available for sale in the Kindle Format.

The latest culinary craze to sweep the country has been centered on a little fresh water crustacean – the crawfish. These aquatic delicacies inhabit lakes, ponds and rivers and are probably in water habitats close to your hometown.  Crawfish look like little Maine Lobsters and when cooked properly are as tasty as their ocean cousins. The best thing about crawfish is that they are fun to catch with family and friends and make a delicious feast.

“The Crawfish” was written to give you the information you need to catch crawfish. The book covers traps, hand lines, bait, best times to catch crawfish, species and their distribution as well as how to handle and cook your catch.  “The Crawfish” is a quick and fun read for the whole family.  See why this book has received 5 star ratings on Amazon.  If you are interested in crawfish and want a fun adventure on the water, check out this book!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ED47QVA

 NOW ONLY .99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME!

PASTA A LA SPRING


It is that time of year, asparagus is poking through the dirt. If you are lucky, the asparagus growing season has begun in your neck of the woods. Get out and forage some for a great early spring meal.

Pasta A La Spring is a delicious way to celebrate the beginning of spring with fresh asparagus and shrimp in a richly flavored cream sauce! Make this recipe soon!

The Best Clam Chowder Recipe


Growing up a Catholic, we celebrated lent every year by not eating meat on Fridays. I still celebrate lent by not eating meat on Fridays. One of the problems I face now is that I am located in the Rocky Mountains and it is nearly impossible to get really fresh shellfish and seafood. Yes, they do fly it in, but there is something about a fresh clam, mussel, oyster or lobster straight from the water to the pot and onto your plate that can’t be matched by a 24-48 hour old specimen.

My first 25 years of life were spent in the Sunny state of California with the Pacific Ocean only a 15 minute drive from my house. I spent many a summer at Huntington Beach enjoying the salt air, waves and water. Back in the day, it was possible to get on your hands and knees in the shallow water just where the waves broke and the water foamed like a freshly pour head on a beer, and dig your hands into the sand and pull up huge, fat Pismo Clams. Some of these clams weighed over a pound and were as big as the palm of my hand. We would catch our limit in less then an hour and spend the rest of the day riding the waves.

When I got home, my mom would pry open these monster clams and chop up the meat and make a great clam chowder. Today, I am not fortunate enough to take a 15 minute drive down to the beach to gather Pismo Clams for fresh clam chowder. For many people like myself, we are forced to settle for baby clams in a can, which are good, but not like the fresh live clams. However, if you are lucky enough to live by the ocean and clams are available, I would highly recommend that you do a little research, understand the regulations, licenses and logistics of clam locations and forage some fresh shellfish and fish for yourself. Fresh or canned clams are excellent in this recipe. This clam chowder recipe is delicious and everyone will rave about its creaminess and flavor. Make some soon, you won’t regret it. Enjoy!

Asian-Cajun Shellfish Recipe


If you love Crawfish Boils you will love this Asian Cajun version. This video deconstructs the delicious garlic butter sauce you find in Asian Cajun Crawfish Boil eateries.

Asian-Cajun Crawfish Boil resteraunts serve the Crawfish in a plastic bag with the sauce covering the Crawfish. We put it on a plate for better viewing on the video. Served either way, this Asian-Cajun Crawfish Boil recipe is delicious! Also, try this recipe on shrimp, crab, lobster and other shellfish.  Go out and catch a bucket of crawfish and enjoy!

For more information on how to catch crawfish and for more delicious recipes get my book, “The Crawfish, From Pond To Plate” on Amazon.com