Sunday, March 29, 2009

Frank Brigsten Crawfish Callas

After his fantastic cooking class, I was anxious to give some of Frank Brigsten’s recipes a go. The obvious first choice was Brigsten’s class lagniappe, crawfish calas.

The first step to this recipe was getting the rice ready.

Frank was adamant about his support of Louisiana rice, particularly Panola popcorn rice. Luckily, I had picked up a few bags at a Breaux mart last time I was in New Orleans.

Another thing Frank was adamant about was building flavor. During his class, he had made the rice with crawfish stock. Lacking any myself, I made my rice with chicken stock.

While the rice was cooking, I got started on the green onion dipping sauce. It has a very simple ingredient list.

2 egg yolks

2 cups of green onions

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

4 tablespoons of white vinegar

2 cups of vegetable oil

Here are the first five ingredients in the processor

After processing till smooth, I was ready to start adding the oil

The idea is to have the processor running and then slowly add the oil.

When all two cups of oil has been added, I ended up with this lovely mayonnaise.

With the rice cooking and the green onion mayonnaise made, I started with the crawfish calas.

I started with a 1 lb pound of crawfish tails and portioned out a cup of tails. Combining that with 1 tsp of Paul Prudhomme’s seafood magic seasoning, 1/4 thinly sliced onions, and 3/4 tsp of minced garlic, I added the mixture to 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat.

The idea is just to heat the crawfish through, about 1-2 minutes.

Once the crawfish are heated through, I slid everything into a bowl

And then into the fridge to thoroughly chill.

As I mentioned before, Brigsten is very big on building flavor. One way to build that flavor is to have purree half of the crawfish.

The idea is that instead of getting a lump of crawfish every few bites, the flavor of the crawfish would permeate the calas.

With everything cooked, cooled, and purreed, it was time to actually make the calas batter.

I started by whisking 2 eggs until frothy.

Next I whisked in 1/4 cup of milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 cup ap flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Then it was time to add in the purreed crawfish.

The purreed crawfish really changed the appearance of the batter, but not as much as the next ingredients.

That is 2 cups of the cooked popcorn rice and the rest of the crawfish.

With everything added, this was a great looking batter, although it seemed sticky as hell.

The solution to stickiness was to use an ice cream scoop.

Each scoop of batter was rolled into a pot of 350 degree oil and cooked for 4 or 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Delicious looking results.

The finished results.

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