The weather here in Alabama has been unusually cold lately, with temps in the low teens and snow and ice. You may have experienced it, or seen on the national news, how the people in the south can’t deal with the winter weather, because we usually have temps in the 60’s on Christmas day. I’ve also been working a lot lately, especially with catered events, so it was extremely welcoming to come home after a long weekend of catering, on a cold night and find a pot of this delicious chowder cooking on the stove. If you love crawfish you should give this a try. Crawfish tails can be purchased at most supermarkets in the South. Around here, Publix carries them in the freezer section of their seafood department for about $12 a pound. It’s also a little spicy with the poblano pepper, so if you prefer your food a little less “warm” you may want to substitute a jalapeno for the poblano. The recipe has a list of ingredients, but it’s extremely easy to put together.
- 4 tbsp oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 cups diced onion, preferably a sweet onion like a Vidalia
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup chopped poblano pepper, seeded and ribs removed
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry
- 1 quart seafood stock (can be bought at your grocery store)
- 1-16oz bag of frozen corn, thawed
- 2 small potatoes, diced into small cubes
- 1-15oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1-8oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 pound crawfish tails, thawed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp Kosher salt or sea salt
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning (a blend sold on the spice aisle)
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the oil and the butter, letting the butter melt. Add the onion, celery, pepper and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, until the onions and celery are tender. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and stock, whisking to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the corn, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, crawfish, bay leaves, thyme, salt, Cajun seasoning and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the cream and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the bay leaves and add the fresh chopped parsley.
Serve with a good crusty bread and a nice glass of wine. Makes about 10 servings.