Native Americans were catching and eating crawfish for years before the Acadians arrived, although some legends tell of the northeastern lobster following the Acadians to Louisiana and shrinking in size over the long journey. The Acadians took quite well to the local crawfish, and they became a major part of the Cajun culture.
Crawfish-or mudbugs, as they are called since the popular species in Louisiana burrow into the wet ground of the freshwater bayous-can be boiled whole with spices and vegetables. The tender meat can be featured in a variety of Cajun cuisine from étouffée to meat pies. Every spring when crawfish are in season Louisiana families, like the Walkers, spend their afternoons gathered around picnic tables picking crawfish. They spread old newspaper across long tables where they dump a giant pot of steaming crawfish along with boiled potatoes, garlic cloves, corn on the cob, whole mushrooms, and onions.
Some of the Walkers’ fondest memories involve farming crawfish themselves. One of TW’s clients has a crawfish pond. When TW’s brother, Bob was coming to Ville Platte for Easter with his family, TW asked his client if the kids could come by and pick up some crawfish with the hand nets. “Mais, cher, don’t worry about that,” TW’s client said, using the Cajun term of endearment. “I’ll tell my guy not to make his run on Saturday morning, and y’all can just go pick up all the traps.”
TW couldn’t believe this generous offer. He loaded up the whole family, and they headed to the ponds. “Jack and Joe were just waist-high then,” recalls TW. “We pulled them behind us in a boat and waded through the water without hip boots on, even Mama Jen. I think we came up with over 250 pounds of crawfish.” A good rule of thumb is three pounds of crawfish per person, which means the Walkers hit the mother load. “We got to be crawfish farmers for the day,” Jack remembers fondly.
TW’s client invited them back year after year. As Jack and Joe got older, they wore snake-proof boots and started pulling the boats through the muddy water for the younger kids to ride. “It’s always a good weekend,” says TW. “It brought all the family together.” The Walkers took all those crawfish back to the Bayou Chicot house and cooked them in the backyard under twinkle lights TW strung from the trees. “We ate for two hours, Cajun French music blaring in the background,” says Bob. “Living in Mississippi, I wanted my kids to experience the way I grew up.”
Today when the Walkers eat crawfish, they all remember those Easter weekends. They pop off the heads and suck the juices, peel off the shell and pop the meat in their mouths.
The Slap Ya Mama seasoning tingles their lips just perfectly, and they’re taken right back to those Easter weekends way back when.
Jambalaya Stuffed Pastry With a Crawfish Sherry Cream Sauce
Stuffed with jambalaya and topped with a crawfish sherry cream sauce, this unique take on a pastry dish is just delicious. Enjoy!
Recipe Created by Chef Ace Champion
- 8 square pastry sheets, 4”x4”
- Slap Ya Mama Jambalaya Dinner Mix, cooked according to box directions
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbsp sherry wine
- 8 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced for garnish
For Crawfish Sherry Cream Sauce:
- 3/4 pound crawfish tail meat, strained & juices reserved
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 Tbsp brandy, optional
- 2 cups sherry wine
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Roll out pastry sheets and cut them in even squares, about 4” x 4”. Add a spoonful of prepared Slap Ya Mama Jambalaya Dinner Mix right in the middle of each pastry sheet. Fold the square pastry from corner to corner, making a triangle shape. In a small bowl, combine eggs and 1 tablespoon of sherry wine; mix well to make an egg wash. Brush each folded pastry with egg wash. Place pastries on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter, garlic, shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add brandy and flambé (ignite) (optional). Add sherry wine and about a ¼ cup of the juices reserved from the package of crawfish; cook until reduce by half. Add vegetable broth and heavy whipping cream and cook until reduced by half. When the sauce is at a smooth consistency, stir in remaining butter and mix well. Serve as soon as possible.
Place a baked pastry on a plate and generously spoon the crawfish sherry cream sauce over the top of the pastry. Top pastry with basil, serve and enjoy.
Hint: If sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little chicken broth. If sauce is too thin, thicken it up with a slurry, 50/50, mixture of sherry wine and cornstarch.
Seafood Stuffed Potato with a Creamy Crawfish Sauce
This is the BEST stuffed potato you will ever eat! Stuffed with crawfish and shrimp then topped with a creamy sauce and more crawfish…you might fall in love with this Seafood Stuffed Potato. Mmmmm!
Recipe by Chef Ace Champion
Potato & Stuffing:
- Rub baked potatoes lightly with olive oil and season with salt if desired. Wrap each potato with aluminum foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees F. until the potato is tender to the touch and you can stick a toothpick through it with no problem. This should take about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and let sit for 30 minutes before removing the foil.
- Peel shrimp, leaving tail on, and place in a small bowl, set shells aside for stock. Season shrimp to taste with Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add 4 cups of water and shrimp shells into a medium-sized pot over medium heat and allow the stock to simmer until you have reduced the liquid by half. Set aside. Note: For more flavor in your stock, you can add a chicken bouillon cube or 2 teaspoons of Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning.
- In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, add cooking oil. Heat oil until hot, add shrimp and sauté until pink all the way through. About 2 to 3 minutes on each side, making sure you are turning the shrimp so it cooks evenly on all sides. When done set aside in a bowl and let cool for easy handling.
- Slice the potato along the middle; be sure not to cut in half. Using a spoon create a pocked in the potato. Add about 4 to 5 crawfish to each potato and divide the shrimp amongst potatoes, leaving the tail of the shrimp hanging out. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and set aside.
Sherry Cream Sauce
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium shallots, diced
- ¼ cup brandy, flambéed (ignite) is optional
- 2 cups sherry wine
- 1 cup shrimp stock
- ¼ cup crawfish juice, drained from crawfish packaging
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup crawfish tail meat
- ½ cup green onions, sliced for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter, garlic and shallots. Sautee lightly for about 2 minutes; add brandy and flambé (ignite), stirring constantly. Add the wine, shrimp stock and crawfish juice and reduce by half. Add heavy whipping cream and continue cooking. When the sauce is at a smooth consistency, stir in remaining butter and mix well. Add remaining Crawfish tail meat and cook for another 2 minutes. (The sauce should have the consistency of Alfredo Sauce.)
Hint: If sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little chicken broth. If sauce is too runny, thicken it by adding more heavy whipping cream until the desired consistency is reached.
- Spoon some of the sauce over each potato then top with the cheese.
- Bake the potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
Divide the sauce amongst 4 plates, spooning it directly onto the middle of the plate. Add the baked potato to the center of the plate then spoon a generous amount of sauce over each potato and garnish with the green onions. Enjoy!
Makes 4 Servings
Looking for some Cajun seafood recipes for dinner? Try Slap Ya Mama’s Seafood Lasagna. Our zesty Cajun lasagna features shrimp, crabmeat, and crawfish complete with Slap Ya Mama’s etouffee sauce to really pack a punch in flavor. See full recipe ingredients and prep time.
- 1 16oz Jar of Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce
- 1 lb Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined
- ½ lb Crab Meat
- ½ lb Crawfish Tails (if available)
- ½ Cup Water
- 12 Lasagna Noodles
- 4 cups Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- ¾ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Egg
In a 6 quart pot, add Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce, shrimp, crab and crawfish. (If you don’t have access to crawfish, you can substitute with ½ pound more of shrimp or crab). Add ½ cup of water. Bring to a light boil, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let rest.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for approximately 12 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To assemble, spread half of the etouffee sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish. Arrange 6 lasagna noodles lengthwise over etouffee sauce. Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Layer with one half of mozzarella over ricotta cheese. Spread remaining half of etouffee sauce mixture over mozzarella and sprinkle ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Layer another 6 lasagna noodles and remaining ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil, making sure it doesn’t touch the cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Crawfish Au Gratin Sauce:
- 7 Tablespoons butter
- 3/4 Cup diced onion
- 1/4 Cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/4 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 5 Tablespoons flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 Teaspoon dried basil
- Pinch dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon of Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning
- 3 Cups milk
- 1/4 Cup white wine
- 4 Ounces American cheese, cubed
- 1 Pound peeled crawfish tails
- 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
For the sauce:
In a 12” skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions, peppers and garlic until wilted. Add the flour and stir until a blond roux is achieved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the sugar, basil, thyme and Slap Ya Mama Original Blend. Add the milk and wine and cook over medium heat until the milk thickens, stirring constantly. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts and fully incorporates into the sauce. Add the crawfish tails and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes.
For the catfish:
Sprinkle the catfish filets with Slap Ya Mama Original Blend. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and add the milk. Dip the catfish filets in the milk/egg mixture and then coat with the Slap Ya Mama Fish Fry. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a large skillet. Fry the catfish until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
Plate the catfish, spoon the Au Gratin Sauce over the filet and sprinkle a few green onions over the top to finish it off. Enjoy!