Friday, March 12, 2010

Crawfish Monica Copycat

Spicy crawfish in a rich and creamy butter and cream sauce, doused generously with Cajun seasoning, and tossed with rotini pasta.
Spicy crawfish in a rich and creamy butter and cream sauce, doused generously with Cajun seasoning, and tossed with rotini pasta.

Crawfish Monica

This is my copycat recipe for Crawfish Monica, a spicy, rich and creamy crawfish and pasta dish, extremely popular and once found only at a booth at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - a long running music event held in New Orleans. With two stages of soul-stirring music, from jazz, to gospel, to Cajun and zydeco, rock, funk, blues, Caribbean and so much more, and more southern, Cajun, Creole and international foods than you can shake a baton at y'all.  If you've never been, you really should put it on your bucket list for sure. Check it out here.

Crawfish Monica created by Chef Pierre Hilzim, and named after his wife, Monica Davidson, was once only available on the Jazz Fest grounds during the two (extended) weekend festival. Now the original can be purchased at my favorite grocery store, Rouse's Market, here in Mississippi as well as over in Louisiana, along with several other stores around the state of Louisiana. Crawfish Monica now also has two other sister dishes now - Monica’s Herbed Shrimp Alfredo & Pasta and Monica’s Sauce with Chicken, Andouille, Tasso & Pasta! Delish.  Don't fret if it hasn't made it's way near you.  Just visit the Kajun Kettle Foods website for some fun Crawfish Monica trivia, or to order some for your next party, or make a pretty darned good substitute with this recipe.

I personally think there are 3 secrets to making this dish the best.  FIRST: Use freshly boiled crawfish whenever possible, or else use packaged Louisiana crawfish. Do not use foreign imported crawfish period, because, in my opinion they are inferior to local crawfish, they taste horrible and not worthy of this dish.  If you have no choice but to use imports, rinse them well, and I mean well, before adding them.

SECOND: Use loads of garlic - I use about 5 cloves here, but some recipes call for as much as 10 cloves!

AND LAST: Add as much heat with the Cajun seasoning as you think you can handle.  This pasta dish can actually take a bit more than you'd expect - I used a tablespoon here, but I've seen other recipes that use 2 tablespoons. My advice on that is, just take care not to overdo it - there is nothing worse than a dish that has far too much cayenne in it so that you can't taste anything but your tongue on fire from the red pepper!  Start slow, add 1/2 teaspoon, taste, add a little more, taste, add and taste, until it tastes right. Then when it's all combined in the end, taste again and adjust as needed.  

Crawfish Monica is traditionally made with rotini pasta, but you could substitute another pasta if you like.  In my ongoing effort to Clear the Pantry and "use it up" I used the bottom 1/2 pound of a tri-color rotini pasta and the bottom 1/2 pound of a Barilla Plus rotini left in my pantry. I also used frozen Louisiana crawfish from my freezer. Look for the "Certified Cajun" stamp.

Shrimp, crabmeat and even oysters may also be substituted, if you don't happen to be a fan of crawfish.

Visit my Pinterest page for more of my favorite seafood recipes!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Posted by on March 12, 2010
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.