Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shrimp & Grits

I’m sure like many of you reading this; you grew up on grits as a regular part of your family’s weekly diet and thinking nothing of it. That is until Joe Pesci’s unforgettable performance in “My Cousin Vinny” when he tries grits for the first time. Now it’s nearly impossible to make, cook or think about grits without hearing Joe Pesci in the back of my mind asking, “what IS a grit?” Here is one of our personal grit favorites…and if you really want to top is off, garnish with crawfish tails prior to serving.

Shrimp & Grits 

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients: 
1 pound medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled (and deveined, if desired)
6 slices of bacon
Peanut oil
2 cups sliced fresh white mushrooms
1 cup slices scallions (green onions)
1 large clove garlic, crush through a garlic press
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 recipe of hot, Cheese Grits. (There is a recipe on page 23 of this book if you do not have a cheese grits recipe).

Directions: 
1. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry on paper towels. Set Aside.
2. Dice the bacon and fry lightly in a large skillet until browned at the edges but not too crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside.
3. Add enough oil to the fat in the skillet to make a thin layer. Heat over medium-high heat until the fat is quite hot. Add the shrimp and cook until they begin to color. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and bacon, then add garlic. Season with lemon juice, Tabasco, parsley, salt, and pepper.
4. Divide the grits among four warm plates. Spoon the shrimp mixture over top and serve immediately.

Source: Good Old Grits Cookbook by Bill Neal & David Perry

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Boiled Crawfish

There ain’t a Cajun alive that can’t tell you how to boil crawfish! Exact vegetable contents, boiling methods, seasoning amount and steam time will vary per family/farm, but it all starts the same with ‘as many (crawfish) as you can get!”

Boiled Crawfish

Serving Size: 2 – 4 pounds per person. 5 – 8 pounds per Cajun.

Ingredients: 
Live Crawfish (as many as you can get)
Louisiana Fish Fry’s Crawfish, Crab & Shrimp Boil “pour & boil” & “liquid boil”
Seasoning to taste. Tony Chachere’s or Slap ya’ Mama
Garlic to taste
Butter, two sticks per “drop”
Lemons, five per “drop”
Red Potato’s, one - two per person
Onions, one per person
Corn, one full stock per 2 pounds of crawfish



Other desired ingredients can be added. Sausage, shrimp, crab, radish, asparagus and okra are all common additions. Make sure you add a balance amount to your other ingredients and DO NOT over-fill your boiling pot.



Directions: 
In your boiling pot, fill with water ¾ of the way up basket (not the pot itself). Turn heat on and just before the water starts to boil, add liquid and granular seasoning to taste, butter, garlic and five lemons cut in half and squeezed into the water. When water boils add potatoes and peeled onions. Once potatoes start to soften add the crawfish and corn and bring back to a boil. (Never fill the basket more than ¾ full). Kill the gas and allow to soak for a few moments. Remove the basket and pour all contents into an ice chest, cover in granular seasoning, close lid, shake well and allow to steam for up to 20 minutes before serving. Repeat each “drop” until all the crawfish are gone.

Source: Any coonass you ask!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Crawfish Trapping Report - Rim Lakes


This week's crawfish trapping report is a little different and holds a little more significance than usual. Generally we highlight one specific location and the trapping time is generally in the range of six - eight hours...but that's recreational trapping. The trapping this week is for the 2013 Arizona Crawfish Festival at Bison Ranch on Saturday August 10th and lots of folks are counting on a taste of these crawfish! They are free to festival attendees on a "first come, first served" basis in an effort to education Arizona outdoor conservationists on the destructive damage these critters can have to our natural waterways. If you're of the Cajun decent, or a crawfish connoisseur, and you would like a little more than a "taste" at the festival, you can pre-purchase festival tickets to reserve a minimum of 3 pounds of boiled crawfish through Thursday, August 8th online at ArizonaCrawfishCompany.com/events.





It's the belief of Arizona Crawfish Company that with a little education on the culinary delight of crawfish and a little help getting set up to trap in Arizona, lake goers, fisherman and people just looking for a little family fun, we can put a significant reduction on the population of crawfish in Arizona!
Date: August 5th - 6th, 2013
Location: Willow Spring Lake
Bait: Processed Crawfish Bait
Traps: Trap Type: Combination of fifty Promar 501 & Promar 502 traps.
Trap Depth: 8 - 15 foot average
Water Temperature: Unknown.
Average Time In Water: 9 hours between morning and evening pick up. 15 hours on overnight pick up.
Trapping Results: Estimated pounds per pick up: 1 - 3 per trap.
Lagniappe: Total number of beers consumed - All of them.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fried Crawfish

Straight from the heart of Louisiana’s Crawfish Capitol and host of the annual, world famous Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival…some good ole fried crawfish. C’est Bon cher!

Fried Crawfish 

Serving Size: 2 – 4 pounds per person…5 – 8 pounds per Cajun.

Ingredients: 
1 pound of cleaned crawfish tails
Salt & red pepper to taste
2 eggs
2 cups of milk
salt & pepper
1 ½ cups of flour
Crisco shortening for frying

Directions:
 Preheat the oil 375 degrees. Season the crawfish tails with salt and red pepper to your taste, and set them aside. Beat the eggs well, add the milk, salt and pepper and beat the mixture together. Put the crawfish tails into the four which you have put into a large bowl, and coat them well. Then put the crawfish into the egg mixture. Take the crawfish out of the mixture one by one and put them into the flour again, and coat the crawfish well, with the flour. Drop the crawfish into the hot shortening one by one. Fry the crawfish until the outside is crisp, about 5 minutes. Serve at once.

Source: The La Meilleure cook book by Jude Theriot credits this recipe to: Roy & Thelma Pontiff of Thelma’s Restaurant in Breaux Bridge, La.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crawfish Andouille Macaroni Salad


This week’s interesting crawfish recipe (that we have yet to try) comes from a surprisingly local source with a mix of Italian flavor. Not uncommon in many Cajun recipes, as it relates to seasoning and sausage...but Macaroni? That's a new one to us too. Chef Bryan Dooley of Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue shared this recipe recently with the Arizona Republic. If y’all try it out, let us know what you think! How Bryan ever came with this recipe we have yet to be learned, but it sure looks good "mais yeah!?" 

If you have not yet treated yourself to Bryan’s Barbecue, you owe it to yourself to do so next time you find yourself in Cave Creek, Az. Aside from being great food, Bryan is also an ideal local business owner who is heavily involved in the community. He supports local Bull Rider and friend of Arizona Crawfish Company, Wacey Barta and also locally owned Wickenburg radio station Real Country 96.3 KSWQ...which just happens to be the first music station preset in Arizona Crawfish Company's Ford Trucks. P.S. Make sure you check his website for hours; as owner operator he does shut down and take a well earned vacation in the summer.

...think we can fit any more shameless, unsponsored shout-outs in this blog post??? What can we say, we love supporting the locals...here's the recipe:

Crawfish & Andouille Macaroni Salad
with Whole-Grain Mustard Vinaigrette

Serving Size: 8

For Macaroni: 
Ingredients:
3 quarts water
6 bottles of beer (12 ounces each)
1 tablespoon salt
1 box (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon or so of olive oil

Directions:
Bring water, beer  and salt to a boil. Add pasts and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked. Let cool. Once cooled, coat with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.

For Vinaigrette:
Ingredients:
½ cup cider vinegar
5 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
4 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon clack pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups canola oil

Directions:
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and both peppers in a medium bowl. While still whisking slowly drizzle in oil.

For Salad:
Ingredients:
12 ounces crawfish meat
12 ounces andouille sausage, grilled and sliced
4 ounces red onion, diced
1 ounce chopped Italian parsley

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine crawfish meat, sausage, onions and parsley. Add cooled drained pasts with vinaigrette. Toss well and let chill before serving.

Source:. Publication: Wednesday July 3rd addition of Arizona Republic, Food & Drink section. Chef: Bryan Dooley of Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Crawfish Trapping Report - Black Canyon Lake

Bobby and Sabrina got out this weekend for a little crawfish scouting prior to the trapping contest August 7th. They had a very successful overnight trap at one of the few lakes on the rim that's south of highway 260, Black Canyon Lake. Below are the trapping details.




Date: July 20th & 21at, 2013
Bait: Processed Crawfish Bait
Traps: Eight Trap Type: Promar 501 & Promar 502
Trap Depth: 7-10 foot average
Water Temperature: Unknown.
Average Time In Water: Overnight / 4:00PM - 9:00AM
Trapping Results: Estimated pounds 10-12 pounds
Lagniappe. Total number of beers consumed: All of them.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tomatoes Stuffed with Crabmeat


Tomatoes Stuffed with Crabmeat

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients:

4 tomatoes
2 cups crabmeat
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons chopped parsley
4 teaspoons snipped chives
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper

Directions:
Cut off the tops of the tomatoes, and using a small spoon, scoop out the pulp and seeds. Lightly salt the tomatoes and turn them upside-down on paper towels to drain for 30 minutes.
Combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, parsley, chives and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Stuff the tomatoes with crabmeat, mounding the tops.

Source:. Louisiana Life Magazine, May/June 2013 addition.

And oh yeah…like always…crawfish tails will work just fine in place of the crabmeat!!!!

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