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Fried Crawdad Cakes (great Cajun appetizer)

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by Tennessee Slim, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    I serve this as an appetizer when I’m cookin’ Cajun. This is an especially robust dish and demands an even heartier entree (else you won't be able to taste the entree). I find it's the perfect lead-in to blackened redfish.

    WARNING: Not for the feint of taste bud!

    This goes especially well with an ice cold glass of Gewürztraminer.

    Title: Fried Crawfish Cakes

    INGREDIENTS:
    1 lb. picked crawfish tails
    2 C onion, chopped
    1 C celery, chopped
    1 C green bell pepper, chopped
    1 C plain bread crumbs
    1/2 C Romano or Parmesan cheese
    Tabasco Sauce
    1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
    fresh ground black pepper
    Creole seasoning
    flour
    hollandaise sauce (recipe posted separately)
    spicy salsa
    olive oil

    Sauté onion, bell pepper and celery in olive oil for about 2-3 minutes, until vegetables begin to "sweat down." Add crawfish tails, continue sautéing. Add 2 dashes hot sauce, Worcestershire, fresh pepper and a sprinkle of Creole seasoning. Sauté a moment longer, remove from heat. Add Romano and bread crumbs. Chill until ingredients are moldable; form into cakes. Dust both sides with flour, sauté in olive oil a couple of minutes on each side until browned. Top with hollandaise and a dollop of spicy salsa. Garnish with a single boiled crawfish.
     
  2. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

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    If someone does not live in Louisiana, where might they find "Pickled Crawfish tails"?

    Any ideas for mainstream markets, or off beat markets in Sacramento/Nor Cal?

    Thanks!
     

  3. noway

    noway

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    I think that's Pick vrs Pickled tails.
     
  4. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Crawdads are native to Tennessee, too, and most of the southeast. In fact, I suspect you'll find them everywhere in North America (below the Arctic Circle) where there are shallow streams. They even live in the ditch along my road front, even though it rarely has standing water. I catch them in local streams using minnow traps. Bread in the trap attracts minnows; meat (baloney or hot dogs) attracts crawdads. I put 'em in a wash tub of clean water for a couple of days so they 'eliminate' the creek crud from their digestive tract.

    I actually began trapping them to feed to my piranha. Pink flamingos have to be fed shellfish or they'll loose their color; red bellied piranha are the same way. They eat the mud bugs shells and all, then turn absolutely crimson. After I ran my traps one day, I’d had an especially large haul and we decided the piranha shouldn’t get them all. I’ve been a crawdad junkie ever since.

    Most of the local chain groceries (Kroger and such) also carry them, but those already are cooked (not the best option but they’ll do in a pinch). The seafood shop in the Bicentennial Mall in downtown Nashville sells them live. You can search online for seafood specialty shops that carry them. Most that you'll find sell them already cooked, a few ship them live.

    This might seem like too much trouble but crawdads occupy a unique niche among shellfish. They have quite a lot of fat which gives them a very distinctive flavor. Unlike shrimp, you don’t put them in a dish (or sauce) to take on its flavor, you put in crawdads to impart their flavor to the dish. If you were of a mind to, there’s no reason you couldn’t make the cakes larger (or serve a couple or three of them) and throw on a side of dirty rice and you got yourself an entrée. If your taste runs to the exotic or if you want to put on a Cajun soirée and need an appetizer that’ll slap your taste buds up side the head, you need to try this dish at least once.
     
  5. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

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    We definitely have crawdads here in Cali. The Sacramento Delta has tons of them. "Crawdads River Cantina" is a popular floating resturant on the Sacramento river. The city of Isleton (Sacramento County, California) is best known* for their annual Crawdad Festival, which they claim is "the largest consumption of crawdads outside of Louisiana, over a three-day period, in any one town on the planet."

    I just had not heard of or seen "pickled crawdads" and wondered if and where I might find it. (They are probably available at the Isleton festival) I'll be picking up some fresh or frozen crawdads and trying your recipe!!

    Thanks!

    Eric
    aka Cali-Glock
    *Isleton was also well known in the Cali gun community due to their liberal CCW issuance policies... that is before they fired their Police Chief over the issue. :(
     
  6. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    My bad, Cali-Glock, I didn't read your question correctly. "Picked" in this sense means "picked over", as in "properly peeled and cleaned." What I posted is a faithful recreation of a recipe I got from a coon-***, right down to the "picked".
     
  7. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

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    Nothing to feel bad about - I thank you for being paitent with this wannna-be Southerner! ;) ;f