As promised, today I’ll show you how to make a delicious crawfish bisque – just the way MawMaw used to make it.

Yield: A Lot

Ingredients for the Bisque:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 6 cups crawfish stock (or broth or water)
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 cups crawfish stock (or other stock or water)
  • 2 cups stock (or water) to add at the end

First step – make a dirty-blond roux with the flour and oil.

Set aside 1/4 of the chopped celery, onion, and garlic for the crawfish dressing. Add the rest to the roux and sauté over a medium heat until soft – about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Sauté for 10 minutes to give the flavors a chance to blend.

Add 4 cups of stock. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour (stirring occasionally) while you prepare the crawfish shells.

When I use crawfish stock – which is well-seasoned – I don’t add any extra seasonings. If you are using vegetable/chicken broth or water, add these seasonings when you add the liquid:

  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t black pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt (to taste)

Now it’s time to stuff the shells that we cleaned out yesterday. If you didn’t clean shells, roll the dressing into balls – called boulets (pronounced boo-LAY).

Ingredients for the Crawfish Dressing:

  • 2 lbs. cooked crawfish tails
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • chopped onion
  • celery
  • garlic (reserved earlier)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup butter or oil

Combine the first six ingredients one at a time. Mix until the dressing has the consistency of wet sand. Stuff the shells with the dressing.

Spread the flour onto a flat surface and coat the shells and boulets.

Heat 1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Brown the boulets first, then brown the shells. I have browned these in 3 batches. It is important after each batch to scrape out the flour before starting the subsequent batch. It will burn if you leave it in the pan. Add another 1/4 cup butter or oil and brown the next batch. For the 60 shells and 20 boulets, I wound up with 3 batches. Drain on paper towels.

Add them to the bisque along with 2 more cups of stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Serve in a bowl over rice.

MawMaw must have really loved us to make this dish for us.
(And we loved her for it!)