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Cajun Pot Au Feu

Chef Gunter Preuss was for almost thirty years the owner and chef of Broussard’s. There he created this version of the famous French soup-stew with a local flavor. This dish is similar to bouillabaisse, but without the saffron and with more pepper and other Louisiana ingredients. This is a great dish to make if you ever find yourself with a surplus of whole fish from a fishing trip (or from the generosity of the friend who is a good angler).

Cajun Pot Au Feu.

  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, well washed and chopped coarsely
  • 6 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 3 fresh, ripe, peeled, seeded tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. fish fillets (redfish, trout, sheepshead, drum, etc.)
  • 2 dozen oysters
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter until it bubbles. Saute the carrots, onions, leeks and celery in the butter until they turn limp.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, then pour in the brandy. Carefully flame the brandy and allow the flame to extinguish itself.

3. Pour in the white wine and bring it to a boil. Reduce by about one-fourth, then add the tomatoes and garlic. Return to a boil, cook for about a minute more, and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat the 3 Tbs. butter in a skillet and, in turn, saute the shrimp, fish, and oysters. The shrimp should turn pink, the fish should turn opaque, and the edges of the oysters should curl. Take care not to overcook anything.

5. Add the shrimp, fish, oysters, crabmeat, and parsley to the soup and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. This dish can be served as is, with rice, or with pasta. The consistency should be like that of gumbo.

Serves six to eight.

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