1870 Banana Courtyard French Quarter
Crawfish or Shrimp Maquechoux: Main Dish
2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
OR half crawfish and half shrimp (total 2 lbs)
1/3 cup bacon drippings or olive oil
6 cups fresh white corn
*substitute 1 lb frozen corn if fresh is not available
2 lb frozen crawfish tails, thawed
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
3 large creole tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh, flat Italian parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon tabasco
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 stick butter
Serves 6-8. "Maquechoux' (pronounced mock shoe) is a Cajun word for a smothered dish made with fresh corn.
Marinate crawfish in the white wine and the juice of ½ lemon. When you cut the kernels off the cob, then scrape the cob, with a knife, to get the liquid. Add the cob liquid. If fresh corn isn't in season, substitute can or frozen corn and add 3 EXTRA tablespoons heavy cream in place of corn cob liquid. In a large iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the bell peppers, about 3 minutes, then add onions (cover skillet to speed process). When bell pepper and onion are softened, lower the heat (try not to brown them). Remove and put (reserve) this in a bowl. Put the corn, corn liquid, butter, and cream, in the skillet. Mix thoroughly. Cook on medium heat, 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes, reserved onion and bell pepper, plus salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add crawfish and shrimp, part of the marinade, white wine, then cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently. If mixture seems too dry, add 2-3 tablespoons of reserved marinade or chicken stock, toward end of cooking period. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot in wide soup bowls. This dish is even better when refrigerated for several hours or overnight and reheated before serving. If you are already an experienced Cajun cook, please excuse the level of detail in this recipe.
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