Friday, November 16, 2018

Shortcut Crawfish Corn Bisque

A quicker, off-season version of Crawfish Bisque made using frozen pureed and whole Louisiana crawfish tails, commercial seafood or chicken stock, the trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery), tomatoes, corn and Cajun seasonings.
A quicker, off-season version of Crawfish Bisque made using frozen pureed and whole Louisiana crawfish tails, commercial seafood or chicken stock, the trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery), tomatoes, corn and Cajun seasonings.

Shortcut Crawfish Corn Bisque

Bisque is a soup.

A fairly thick, generally smooth and creamy soup, made from seafood, though often fully pureed to intensify the flavors, leaving no recognized ingredients behind, except perhaps of a garnish.

Seafood is precious, even down here on the Gulf Coast where it is abundant, so I prefer not to puree all of it, but rather to use a fairly rough puree to add body to the soup, but also keep some pieces whole, along with the trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery) for texture and appearance.

For a classic Cajun-style Louisiana crawfish bisque, you would:
  • First have a big crawfish boil.
  • Then pick enough meat from those freshly boiled crawfish for the bisque.
  • Reserving the crawfish shells and claws to prepare a simple stock.
  • The bodies would be cleaned well and then stuffed with a seafood bread stuffing that will be added to the bisque before serving.

It's a dish made for spring, when crawfish are both inexpensive and plentiful, and from start to finish, it is a time-consuming, labor of love to prepare - a long and involved, often two-day process.

It depends on size of course, but generally speaking, you'll need at least 5 to 6 pounds of whole crawfish to get a pound of tails, which you can peel and freeze during peak spring season.

Just know if somebody prepares an authentic Cajun crawfish bisque with homemade crawfish stock and stuffed heads, they really, really, really love you!

Yes, I actually had cleaned crawfish bodies to make a bisque one spring, but then we moved, they got shuffled around in the deep freeze and by the time I found them again, enough time had passed I figured I need to pitch them and start over. I'll get to it again one day.

We're gonna shortcut the process and cheat a bit.

No less love, all the flavor, but a quicker soup. I'm using frozen Louisiana tails which are available year round, so no bodies to stuff, making this a still tasty, but much easier bisque. Besides, you can make crawfish cakes, boulettes or even boudin balls to serve with this soup if you like!

Southern Style Hissy Fit Warning: Buy Louisiana crawfish. Period. Yes, the imports can be substantially cheaper, but do not waste your money buying cheap imported crawfish, or shrimp for that matter. Trust me, you get what you pay for and the results are disappointing.

There are imported brands of crawfish designed to appear to be from Louisiana, often by use of a "Cajun sounding" name, using deceptive marketing practices. Don't fall for it. Look for the "Certified Cajun" seal on the package, or flip it over to find the country of origin in tiny print at the bottom. Since I'm using frozen tails, I'm gonna freshen these with a tiny bit of liquid crab boil, but that's totally optional.

Since I have no fresh crawfish, I'm also cheating a bit and using Kitchen Basics Seafood Stock. I really love this brand of stocks and it's readily available around here. Whether it's chicken, turkey, beef, vegetable, they are all high-quality stocks and I love them. If you can't get your hands on a seafood stock, chicken broth is a fine substitute.

Transfer crawfish tails to a bowl and squeeze all fat out of bag. Stir in 2 cups of stock and liquid crab boil, if using. Take it easy though - that stuff is concentrated! Set aside. From there it's just chopping and sauteing the onion, bell pepper and celery, pureeing a portion of the crawfish, and adding the remaining ingredients. A short simmer and adjustment of the seasonings and boom,,, you're done!

Taste, add seasonings and adjust. Spoon into serving bowls over rice; garnish each with crawfish and a pinch of sliced green onion.

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Posted by on November 16, 2018

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