Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Boudoin, anyone?

Ever had Crawfish Boudoin?

I did over the weekend at a spot in Jackson Square in New Orleans, and it wasn't bad. PRetty good, actually -- though in hindsight I would have preferred it not in a sandwich and instead as part of another meal. I love crawfish, and I like all types of south Louisiana sausage and such, but I had never had it in this combination. Came in a huge portion.

I'll say this, too: When I ordered it, the waitress was kind enough to warn me that it wasn't a crawfish sandwich -- apparently, folks often expect to get fried crawfish like you would with a shrimp po-boy. Instead, they get crawfish boudoin, which is entirely different, of course.

With thanks to realcajunrecipes.com, here's how to make it. There's all kinds of cool recipes on that Web site, so check it out.

10 servings

Prep Time:
20 minutes

Cook Time:
45 minutes

Ready In:
1 hour, 5 minutes

Boudin, one of the more popular Cajun delicasies which can be purchased from just about every supermarket, convenience store and restaurants, is basically a rice dressing stuffed in casing. Take your favorite meat, most popular are pork, crawfish and shrimp, add seasonings and rice, stuff it all in a sasuage, add a soda or beer and you have a great Cajun lunch or supper.

2 pounds crawfish tails
cooking oil for sautéing
4 large onions chopped
1/8 cup flour
1/2 small can tomato sauce
salt, black pepper, red pepper to taste
8 cups cooked rice
1/2 bunch fresh parsley chopped fine
1/2 bunch fresh green onions tops and all chopped fine
2 -3 shallots chopped fine
garlic powder optional

Sauté crawfish tails in oil, stirring occasionally. Add onions and garlic powder and shallots; let fry 5 minutes when cooking the onions. These items add extra zest and great taste to the boudin. Add flour and mix well. Pour in tomato sauce, salt, both red and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add water and cook about 25 minutes. (You will need to add enough liquid that when you add the rice, your mixture will still be moist.) Add cooked rice and stuff into hog casing or make boudoin balls. (The casing should be soaked in water to regain the elasticity and to remove the excess preservative salt prior to stuffing.) Hog casings are purchased by the hank. A hank will stuff 100 pounds of sausage. The smallest quantity sold at a butcher or specialty meat shop is half of a hank.) Drop in boiling water and simmer 10 minutes. Ready to eat!Add onion tops and parsley to the rice and crawfish mixture before stuffing. Shrimp could be substituted for the crawfish.) May be frozen before cooking. (To cook, thaw out completely. Pour water in a pan, bring to boiling, add boudoin and cook 10 minutes.)