Most crawfish found in grocery stores are precooked, so all that needs to be done in this recipe is warm it in butter to serve. In addition, use the shells and vegetable scraps to make a quick stock for cooking the beans. The homemade stock is a big improvement over store-bought, making the finished dish richer and packed with crawfish flavor.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
2 pounds precooked crawfish
1/2 pound red beans — soaked
1/2 pound smoked bacon or ham
10 cups white rice — precooked
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion
1 bell pepper
6 celery stalks
4 garlic cloves
1 ear sweetcorn
3 green onions
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons Tabasco
4 tablespoons old bay seasoning
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1. Fill a large stockpot with about 10 cups of water. The crawfish and vegetable scraps will go into this to make a quick stock.
2. Rough chop three of the celery stalks and three of the carrots then add them to the water. Add the bay leaves and one tablespoon of old bay seasoning. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
3. Break down the crawfish, saving the tail meat and throwing the scraps into the stockpot. Dice the onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper. Add all the end pieces and trimmings to the stockpot. Mince the garlic. Cut the kernels off the cob of corn.
4. Simmer the stock for 15 minutes, then strain and reserve the liquid. Heat a large saucepot over medium heat. Dice the bacon and saute over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and saute with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes.
5. Add the pepper, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook for 15 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of oil if the pan gets too dry.
6. Add the tomato paste and eight cups of the stock. Add the beans and bring to a simmer. Simmer for two to three hours, until the beans have softened. Add water to the mixture if it dries too much.
7. In a small saucepot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the crawfish to the butter to warm up. Once the crawfish is hot, add it to the bean mixture along with half of the butter. Once the beans are tender, mash about half of them with a large spoon.
8. Chop the cilantro and green onions and mix them with the beans. Add the remaining old bay and tabasco, season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the rice until uniformly mixed. Serve.