Crawfish au Gratin
Crewfish au gratin with gouda – quick Creole dinner
Crawfish au Gratin
“Put some cheese on it” is a common Creole-French/Creole-Italian cooking tradition. Putting seafood in a white sauce isn’t any healthier than deep-frying, but it’s definitely a tasty change of pace.
Folks used crabmeat for this dish more often than crawfish. Up until the 1980s, crawfish were not a go-to for New Orleanians on a year-round basis. They were caught wild, in-season. As companies began to farm mudbugs, packaged, peeled tails appeared in the supermarkets. Crabmeat makes a good cheesy dish, now it’s more expensive. Crawfish are a better choice for experimenting.
Cheddar is the cheese of choice for most au gratin dishes. Cooks change things up with swiss on occasion. Usually they pass on the Italian cheeses, provolone and mozzarella — we eat a lot of red gravy stuff. Now that domestic companies make Gouda, it’s affordable. It also melts well. So, let’s give it a try with crawfish.
- 1 12-16 ounce pack of Louisiana crawfish tails
- 1/2 cup “Holy Trinity” – onion, celery, green pepper, finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup white wine, or 1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup seafood stock
- 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 8oz Gouda cheese, grated
- Defrost the crawfish tails in the package.
- In a large frying pan, saute the holy trinity in 2 tablespoons of the butter or olive oil for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Stir in the remaining butter/olive oil.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables evenly. Stir to make a quick roux.
- When the flour is mixed in, slowly stir in the wine/stock.
- When the wine is mixed in, open a corner of the crawfish package. Squeeze the juice from the package into the pan. Stir, whisk thoroughly
- Whisk in the cream/half-and-half.
- Add the crawfish to the pan.
- Simmer the entire mixture for three minutes, then remove from heat.
- Place the crawfish mixture in individual ramekins. Cover each with a generous amount of cheese.
- Bake in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes, to melt the cheese.
Makes 4 servings.