How to cook Cajun Crayfish Jambalaya
- 5 pounds live crayfish
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, including 3 inches of green tops
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, preferably Italian flat-leaf
- Soak the live crayfish in cold water for at least 10 minutes, then wash them thoroughly under cold running water. In a heavy 8 to 10-quart pot, bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Using tongs, drop in the crayfish and boil them briskly, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Drain the crayfish into a colander and, when they are cool enough to handle, shell them one at a time in the following manner: With your hands, break off the ridged tail, snap it in half lengthwise and lift out the meat in one piece. If you like, you can snap off the large claws, break them with a nutcracker and pick out the bits of claw meat.
- Some or all of the yellow fat or "butter" from the body of the crayfish may slide out when you break off the tail. If it does not, scoop the body shell clean with the tip of a finger or your thumb and pick out the fat. Reserve the crayfish meat and fat (there will be about 2 cups). Discard the shells, heads and intestinal matter.
- In a heavy 3-quart casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the onions, scallions, celery, green pepper and garlic and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not brown.
- Stir in the rice and, when the grains are coated with oil, add the reserved crayfish meat and fat, the red pepper and salt. Stirring constantly, pour in the 2 cups of water in a slow, thin stream and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole tightly and simmer for 25 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the grains are tender but not too soft.
- Add the chopped parsley and mix well, then taste for seasoning. Serve the Crayfish Jambalaya at once, directly from the casserole or mounded attractively in a large heated bowl.
Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence. The dish is a New World version of the Old World dish paella. A Cajun version, loosely related to paella, was adopted.
Crawfish, Crayfish or Crawdads are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related in same family.
This recipe for Cajun Crayfish Jambalaya serves/makes: 4
The Cajun Crayfish Jambalaya recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.
Main Ingredient: Crayfish
Preparation Method: Poached/Simmered