Crawfish Pies

3 03 2010

I absolutely love crawfish pie. Usually for a meal, it’s served as a regular pie in slices, but since the main course for the party was the actual boil, I decided to make mini hand pies. I made the filling the night before, allowing the flavors to meld in the fridge overnight. I definitely recommend doing this because the filling was firm to work with for making these pies, and also, the flavor was definitely awesome!

The only problem I have with this original recipe is that it calls for 1 cup of oil. This was WAY too much oil, in my opinion. I ended up spooning the oil/fat off of it and after measuring it, that was almost 1/2 cup of oil! My husband also pointed out that a roux is usually 1:1, which is essentially what you are making in the end to thicken the filling. So, next time, I’m using 1/2 cup of oil in the recipe!

Crawfish Pies
Adapted from John Folse

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tasso ham, diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 packs of refrigerated pie dough sheets

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a 10-inch saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and tasso ham. Saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted.
  3. Add crawfish and saute an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and using a wire whisk, stir constantly until white roux is achieved. Add tomato sauce and slowly add broth, a little at a time, until sauce consistency is achieved. (NOTE: You may not use all of the broth.)
  4. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes. Season to taste using salt, pepper and Tabasco. Remove from heat and allow to cool, preferably overnight.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, combine egg, milk and water. Using a wire whisk, stir until all ingredients are well blended.
  6. Using the rim of a cup, cut the pie dough into circles. Place about 1 tsp. of filling center of each circle.
  7. Brush the edges of pastry with eggwash and fold over in a crescent shape. Crimp the edges closed with a fork and pierce the top of the pie to create vents for steam to escape during cooking. Brush eggwash over pies and bake until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.




Crawfish Cheesecake

2 03 2010

I remember when my husband took me out to this fine Italian restaurant, and we sampled some crab cheesecake as an appetizer. We were hesitant at first, but our waiter insisted that we’d love it. And, boy did we! It was so flavorful and delicious. 🙂

So, when I saw this recipe on Elizabeth’s Edible Experience, I knew I had to try it for myself!

This was a very rich dish. It would be great for an appetizer at a potluck or something similar to that. We spread the cheesecake on crackers and it was very yummy! I loved the flavor, and I hope to have the opportunity to make this again sometime soon!

Crawfish Cheesecake
Source: Chef John Folse (found on Elizabeth’s Edible Experience)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound crawfish tails, chopped
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere’s seasoning
  • 2 tbsps minced onions
  • 2 tbsps minced celery
  • 2 tbsps minced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced chives
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsps melted butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups crushed butter crackers (like Ritz)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, egg white and crackers. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes to crisp.
  2. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F.
  3. In a mixing bowl, blend cream cheese, sour cream, cornstarch, salt, seasoning, onions, celery, bell pepper and chives. Blend well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add eggs and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl again. Fold in the chopped crawfish tails. Pour the batter over the cooled crust.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for another hour without opening the door. Cool on a rack for at least 4 hours. Carefully unmold. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.




Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Louisiana Saturday Night Celebration

28 02 2010

You know the band Alabama? I always found it funny that they sang a song about Louisiana Saturday nights since their name is, well, Alabama. Guess my rivalry between Bama and LSU will never die, eh?

This is my very first time doing a 24, 24, 24 event for Foodbuzz, and I could not be more excited. It was PERFECT timing to throw a party for family! Thanks so much to Foodbuzz for sponsoring this!

There are so many great things going on in Louisiana lately. Between the New Orleans Saints clinching a Superbowl win  and Mardi Gras, I just thought it would be great to celebrate with family the traditional Louisiana way: CRAWFISH!

Oh yes, that silly crustacean that is also referred to as a crayfish or mudbug. We have been anxiously awaiting crawfish season, and we lucked out with a sack (roughly about 40 lbs.) from a local crawfish farmer for some crawfish foodie fun! I say lucked out, because it’s VERY early in the season and well, like the rest of the country, our winter isn’t exactly mild. Since it’s so cold, the crawfish basically go dormant. So, the crawfish are in short supply (and sadly, pricey). However, we just had to have some of this. It’s been far too long for us, and let’s just say we weren’t disappointed.

I’m sure some of you are insanely jealous and then there are some of you who are thinking, why crawfish?

Crawfish are insanely abundant in the swamps/marshes of Louisiana (when they are in season), and have been around since the native Americans and European settlers. Because of their abundance out here, they have remained popular for centuries and have sort of become tradition for family gatherings. In the Spring/early Summer, you can literally smell crawfish boil in the air in most neighborhoods. So many families do boils and LOVE it. It’s crazy that Louisiana supplies 90% of all domestic crawfish in the nation, yielding 75-105 MILLION pounds of crawfish. (fun facts via www.crawfish.org)

So, now that you can understand our state’s small addiction to this little creature, here’s what we enjoyed at the party!

Mini Crawfish Pies*
Crawfish Cheesecake*
Crawfish Boudin
Crawfish Boil (of course)
Decorated Crawfish Sugar Cookies*

* There will be separate blog posts about these items off the menu.

Since the pies and cheesecake had to be assembled the night before and the crawfish for the boil wouldn’t be caught until the next morning , we purchased some Louisiana crawfish conveniently peeled into 1 lb. bags. Let me tell you, if you have to choose between Louisiana crawfish and foreign crawfish, you should strongly consider Louisiana crawfish. It might be a few more bucks than foreign crawfish, but I will say, they are TOTALLY not the same. Louisiana crawfish has so much more flavor and the tails are usually much larger too, so if you are thinking of buying crawfish in stores, seriously consider splurging a few extra bucks and getting domestic crawfish.

These crawfish pies were so yummy! The tray of these were gobbled up, and just came together so easily. I will admit, I used pre-made pie dough, but hey, the filling made up for it BIG time!  I was a little happy to have some leftover filling to freeze and make these again sometime soon!

This savory cheesecake was pretty darn easy to put together too. We ended up using this as a spread for crackers, and it was just so flavorful. We didn’t really eat it as a cheesecake though, since it was a very rich appetizer and we had to save room for the crawfish boil!

This is crawfish boudin. We like to buy this from a local cajun meat shop. I love this shop because they just know how to put a twist on the most basic things to taste perfectly Louisianian. If we had a long day at work and no time to cook (or just feeling lazy), it’s easy to pop something from there in the oven and enjoy it within an hour!

Back to boudin. Boudin is basically a rice dressing stuffed in a casing. The main ingredient is usually pork, but this meat shop makes fun types like red beans and crawfish! While it looks like sausage, most people find the casing to be unappetizing. So you just end up eating it out of the casing, which easily peels away.

We enjoyed our boudin spread on crackers. It was delicious!

We timed it to where we enjoyed appetizers while boiling these little fellas.

They went from this:

To this:

After they were done, we did not hesitate to fork out the newspaper and dig in! Crawfish boils aren’t usually strictly crawfish. Personally, we boil ours with lemons, onions, garlic, corn, potatoes, mushrooms and sausage. It’s fun to have a little variety in there!

And of course, for spice wimps like me, since these bad boys are boiled in a LOT of cayenne pepper and spices, there was plenty of french bread to calm down the burning taste buds! We purchased this bread at a produce stand that is known for selling great local foods. I love supporting local businesses, especially when it’s dealing with food, because it’s much fresher, flavorful and sometimes, even CHEAPER than buying at just your typical supermarket.

This boil was definitely enjoyed by all. We had a little bit leftover, which we’ll be peeling and freezing to use in another cajun dish sometime soon, but out of the sack of about 40 lbs., it was mostly gone! I guess we were hungry!

After the clean-up outside, we all went inside to hang out, let our tummies digest and enjoy a platter full of decorated crawfish cookies! Or, at least offer it out to those who saved some room for some! Stay tuned for how I made these. I am pretty happy with how these turned out, since I didn’t have a crawfish cookie cutter!

Thanks again to Foodbuzz for sponsoring this party. My family had a wonderful time catching up and enjoying this fabulous Louisiana staple! I hope this boil is first of many for this crawfish season! YUM! 🙂





Roasted Tomato Salsa

8 02 2010

My husband and I planned on doing a Superbowl Mexican feast (for 2), so I was searching for salsa recipes. I happened to come across this recipe on Delish Blog, and was intrigued. Roasted vegetables are always awesome, so roasted salsa had to be all sorts of amazing.

Roasting all of the vegetables made the house smell so yummy, and I just couldn’t wait to dig into this! It had amazing flavor, but my husband and I agreed that our tomatoes probably weren’t ripe enough. We were craving a more rich tomato flavor in the salsa. I can’t wait to try this again in the summer with fresh local tomatoes!

Roasted Tomato Salsa
Source: Delish Blog

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 4-6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 2-3 large jalapenos, deseeded & deveined, cut in half lengthwise
  • freshly ground black pepper & kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400°F . Gently toss the tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos with the olive oil in a large bowl. Alternatively, use spray oil to gently coat the veggies (You just don’t want it to burn). Season with a little freshly ground black pepper. After they are nicely coated arrange in a single layer, tomatoes cut-side facing up, across a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet, roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes, (depending upon the size of your tomatoes). You’ll know they’re ready to come out when they start to get a nice color and the tomatoes start to collapse. Remove from the oven and cool.
  2. Puree cooled tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapenos. Alternatively, puree half of the veggies and hand chop the remainder and combine. Season with salt and stir in the cilantro. Refrigerate.




PW’s Beef Brisket

7 02 2010

Sorry, this picture sucks. Taken on the iPhone since we just got our pup and well, finding the camera was not a necessity at the time!

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for quite some time. You see, we don’t have really good BBQ out here in Baton Rouge, in my opinion. I miss Luther’s BBQ, which was in NOLA before Katrina hit. That stuff was the bomb-diggity, and sadly, I haven’t found a place in Baton Rouge that is anywhere close to it! Plus, BBQ out here is ridiculously overpriced for what you get…ugh!

So, when I saw this on Pioneer Woman’s blog, I thought that I had to try it! My biggest problem was finding a slab of brisket that was less than 10 lbs. It seems like Baton Rouge has some SERIOUS brisket lovers! I finally found this 3 lb. piece at one of the grocery stores out here, and knew what I’d make with it!

Let me tell you, this brisket is AMAZING!! It kicks our local BBQ’s butt in my opinion! I’m definitely making it again sometime soon. 🙂

PW’s Beef Brisket
Source: Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Beef Consomme
  • ½ cups Lemon Juice
  • 1-½ cup Soy Sauce
  • 5 cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
  • 10 pounds Beef Brisket (we used 3 lbs. and this worked just fine!)

Directions:

  1. Combine first five ingredients in large roasting pan (a disposable is just fine). Place brisket in the marinade, fat side up. Cover tightly with foil. Marinate in refrigerator for 24-48 hours. When ready to cook, place pan covered in foil into a 300-degree oven. Cook brisket for approximately 40 minutes per pound.
  2. When fork-tender, transfer whole brisket to a cutting board. Slice against the grain and place slices back into the cooking liquid. Serve immediately, spooning juice over the slices. Barbeque sauce may be used, if preferred.
  3. You may store pan in fridge for up to two days or freeze for use at a later date. If fat collects and hardens at the top, remove and discard.




Herb Roasted Chicken Breast

8 01 2010

Since my husband and I are trying to eat healthier, I thought a simple roasted chicken would work well for dinner. I didn’t really follow a recipe at all this time, so I guess you could say this is an original. It does involve butter, but hey, it’s not that much really. The skin does come out super crispy, but I opted not to eat mine. This is for two people, but this can easily be doubled, tripled, whatever. It’s a really flexible recipe and easy to do!

Herb Roasted Chicken Breast

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. butter (Edit: The second time, I used canola oil instead since butter seemed to smoke up the house. It worked MUCH better.)
  • 3 tbsp. freshly chopped basil
  • 3 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry chicken in the sink. Add salt/pepper under and over the skin of the chicken.
  3. Knead the butter in your hands until it is fairly soft. Add in the basil, parsley, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add herbed butter to the chicken under and over the skin of the chicken
  5. Bake for 1 hr or until juices run clear on the chicken.

The Skinny (with skin/no skin) – per serving, serves 2:
Calories: 262.9/191.3
Fat: 19.7 g/12.5 g
Fiber 0.5 g/ 0.5 g





Bacon does make everything better..

1 01 2010

Happy New Years everyone! I hope you had a great 2009, and here’s to a truly awesome new year and decade!

After looking through the archives, I’ve found the primary reason for my weight gain since the wedding in May: this blog doesn’t have much “skinny” food anymore! So, I’m really going to strive to bring back the “skinny” recipes to this blog, since this blog’s title, after all, is Skinny Food by Amy. While I’m gonna miss the cheesecake and candy, I think I need to go back to the reason that I started this blog: to lose weight and still enjoy food. I hope you all enjoy the journey! 🙂

Now, here comes a not-so-skinny recipe…sorry folks!

My husband and I have enjoyed the Cooking Light recipe for pot roast for a while now. I was curious to see what else is out there, though. So, I found this pot roast recipe on Epicurious that involves the ever-so-famous bacon! I was pretty excited to get away from turkey bacon for a day, so I bought some thick cut smoked bacon at the store  for this recipe. I totally forgot how much grease is in real bacon…whoa. Needless to say, this recipe won’t be a regular in our diets, but it was a yummy indulgence. Bacon really does make everything better, trust me!

Pot Roast
Source: adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 3-pound boneless rump roast
  • 6 ounces thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 12 small shallots, peeled
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Rub spice blend all over beef. Cut 6 slits in beef and insert a clove of garlic in each slit.
  2. Cook bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat until browned and lightly crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from pot. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer beef to plate. Add red wine to pot; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bacon. Place beef atop bacon. Scatter onions, shallots, remainder of garlic, and bay leaves around beef.
  3. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and roast 1 hour. Turn beef over; stir onions. Cover and roast 1 hour longer, adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Transfer beef to plate. Add carrots and potatoes to pot; stir to coat. Place beef atop vegetables, cover, and roast until beef and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes longer. Transfer beef to platter. Spoon off fat from surface of sauce and remove bay leaves. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over beef and serve.