Holly’s Scoop: Beyond the boil

p_077I am excited and honored to be the new spokesperson for the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board. As a longtime lover of crawfish, I do have to say that my love leans towards peeled tails that I can use in recipes. Crawfish season typically runs from late February to mid-May, and I know that crawfish boils this time of year are a fun way to celebrate our local food and culture, but be sure to get additional Louisiana crawfish tails now to keep in the freezer for cooking all year long.

As one of the most classic of Louisiana dishes, Crawfish Étouffée is a year-round favorite meal in my house. This famous entrée got its start in the early 20th century in Breaux Bridge, where crawfish was readily available. As the story goes, a boarding house owner first came up with the notion of smothering the tails with onions and peppers. Today, Breaux Bridge is known as the crawfish capital of the world, and Louisiana is the global leader in crawfish production. Serve my version of this tasty tradition over rice, and try brown rice for a nutrient-rich fiber boost.

Looking to add a little flair to your Louisiana crawfish dish? Crawfish Enchiladas will definitely give you a Southwestern kick. Creamy, cheesy and full of spices, this family-friendly entrée is full of flavor and even diabetic friendly. Crawfish are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and they are also low in calories and fat, especially when rinsed.

Crawfish Deluxe Pizza is the ultimate fast food. Since I keep pizza crust in my refrigerator and Louisiana crawfish in my freezer, I always have the basic ingredients to put together this savory pie at a moment’s notice. I simply add fresh veggies and mozzarella cheese. If you would like to cook along with me, find this recipe and many more on my YouTube channel.

Crawfish Étouffée

Tender Louisiana crawfish are simmered with onion, green pepper and garlic in a light roux.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 onion, chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 lb. Louisiana crawfish tails, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch green onions, stems only, finely chopped

In a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, heat oil and stir in flour. Cook over medium heat until light brown, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Add onion, green pepper and garlic. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Gradually add broth and stir until thickened. Add paprika and crawfish. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in green onions and cook for another few minutes before serving. Makes 4 (1-cup) servings.

Terrific tip: The browned flour and oil create a roux that gives the étouffée a deep, rich flavor.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 220 | Calories from fat 36% | Fat 9g | Saturated fat 1g  Cholesterol 155mg | Sodium 217mg | Carbohydrate 13g | Dietary fiber 4g | Sugars 4g | Protein 22g | Dietary exchanges: 1 carbohydrate, 3 lean meat

Holly 4-16 EnchiladasCrawfish Enchiladas

A Mexican favorite gets a Cajun makeover.

1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1⁄2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 lb. Louisiana crawfish tails, rinsed
1 tsp. chili powder
4 oz. light processed cheese spread
Salt and pepper to taste
16 (6-in.) flour tortillas
1 cup canned enchilada sauce
1⁄2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large nonstick skillet and a 3-quart oblong baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Sauté onion, garlic and green pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and green chilies. Stir in flour and gradually add half-and-half. Add crawfish and chili powder, and cook until bubbly and thickened. Reduce heat, stir in processed cheese until melted, and season to taste. Spoon crawfish mixture (about 1⁄4 cup) onto a tortilla; roll and lay seam side down in prepared dish. Repeat for remaining tortillas. Top with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated and cheese is melted. Makes 16 enchiladas (16 servings).

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 172 | Calories from fat 20% | Fat 4g | Saturated fat 2g | Cholesterol 44mg Sodium 492mg | Carbohydrate 23g | Dietary fiber 2g | Sugars 3g | Protein 11g Dietary exchanges: 1 1⁄2 starch, 1 lean meat

Holly 4-16 PizzaCrawfish Deluxe Pizza

Move over, pepperoni—crawfish is a surprisingly sensational topping for this easy pie.

1 (12-in.) thin pizza crust
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves
1⁄4 lb. sliced mushrooms
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1⁄2 cup Louisiana crawfish tails, rinsed
1⁄2 cup chopped tomatoes
1⁄4 cup chopped red onion
1⁄4 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced, or 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat crust with oil and garlic. Sprinkle with basil.

In a small nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, stirring until wilted. Evenly spoon spinach mixture over crust, and top with remaining ingredients. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden. Makes 6-8 slices.

Terrific tip: Fresh mozzarella cheese has a different texture and taste than packaged mozzarella. It is slightly higher in fat, but I think it is worth it for the flavor.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 189 | Calories from fat 35% | Fat 8g Saturated fat 3g | Cholesterol 65mg | Sodium 265mg Carbohydrate 17g | Dietary fiber 1g | Sugars 2g Protein 13g | Dietary exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1⁄2 medium-fat meat