Crawfish bread is an essential eat in the lineup of Jazz Fest foods – a cheesy, crawfish-stuffed bread bomb invented by John Ed Laborde of Panaroma Foods in Marksville, LA. This refined take, by New Orleans School of Cooking chef Michael DeVidts, turns the messy festival favorite into a appetizer fit for a dinner party.
1 long French Bread Loaf (or bread bowls)
1 ½ inch thick slice Mozzarella Cheese
1 ½ inch thick slice Provolone Cheese
1 C. flour
1 C. oil/butter
2 C. finely chopped onions
1 C. finely chopped celery
1 C. finely chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic or to taste
2 tsp. Joe’s Stuff Seasoning (adjust to taste)
6 bay leaves
6 C. chicken stock or flavored water
1 lbs. Crawfish tails
1 cap full shrimp crab crawfish boil (adjust to taste)
Prepare Bread: Cut French loaf into 3 inch pieces. Cut bottom off end pieces so that the bread can stand up. Hollow each slice leaving some bread at the bottom intact (to make a bread bowl). Grade and mix cheeses together. Add small portion of cheese to the bottom of each bread bowl. Set aside on baking pan.
Make Étouffée Filling: Add flour to hot oil/butter to make roux to desired color. Add onions, celery and green pepper. Sauté for five minutes. Add Joe’s Stuff, garlic and bay leaves. Continue to sauté five minutes. Add stock until thick (it should almost taste like gravy). Taste and adjust seasoning (add crab boil to increase heat). Add crawfish and cook an additional 2 minutes. Discard bay leaves from filling.
Scoop Étouffée into bread bowls filling it up to the top. Add generous amounts of cheese to top. Top with green onions and parsley if desired.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and starts to brown. Makes 12-18 servings.