Crawfish with Morel Mushrooms

Chef Raymond Toups–then the executive chef of the Rib Room–did this recipe once on my old television show. Afterwards, so many people came in to order it that the kitchen nicknamed it the “TV special.” It’s a terrific combination of flavors. I wouldn’t bother with it except in the height of crawfish season, March through June. It’s best served with rice, but it’s also good with pasta.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh crawfish tails
  • 1 oz. dried morel mushrooms (or 4 oz. fresh, if you’re lucky enough to have them)
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. French shallots, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1. Soak the morels in water to reconstitute them. Change the water several times to get all the inevitable sand out of their many fissures.

2. Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the crawfish tails and the morels until they’re hot all the way through–about two minutes.

3. Add the shallots, tarragon, chives, salt and cayenne, and cook for about a minute more.

4. Divide the rice on plates and spoon the crawfish mixture over it.

Serves eight.

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