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Gratin Of Crawfish Tails

This is what I came up with when I tried to blend some of my favorite crawfish appetizers into a single dish. Don’t attempt this when crawfish are out of season. Freshness is essential. Best: crawfish you boiled (without crab boil) yourself and peeled. Worst: Second Worst: frozen crawfish tails or southeast Asian imported crawfish.

Crawfish pie in vol-au-vent pastry (also known as patty shells.)

  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco garlic pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups crawfish tails
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. fresh, finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbs. brandy
  • 1 cup half-and-half, warmed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried chervil
  • 1/2 tsp. dill
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper

1. Blend all the marinade ingredients and toss them with the crawfish tails. Marinate for about five minutes.

2. Heat the butter over medium heat in a saucepan until it bubbles, then stir in the flour and make a light roux. Stir constantly until the texture changes, but don’t allow the roux to brown.

3. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Then lower the heat to the lowest setting and stir in the brandy. After about a minute, add the warmed half-and-half, and whisk until the sauce thickens. Add all the other ingredients and simmer, stirring once or twice, for about two minutes.

4. Stir in the crawfish gently. Continue to simmer for another minute, until the crawfish are heated through.

5. Divide the contents of the pan into four to six ramekins or au gratin dishes. Place the dishes into a preheated 400-degree oven. When the sauce begins to bubble and brown at the edges, the dish is done. Serve immediately. Make sure French bread is on the table to help get the sauce.

Serves four to six.