2 lbs. shrimp tails
2 lbs. crawfish tails
2 sticks butter
3 Tbsp. granulated garlic
3 oz. liquid crabboil
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup pepper cheese, shredded
1-2 cups pepper cheese sauce
Pre-cooked square lasagna pasta sheets or manicotti
First, in a heavy skillet, melt down the butter, sprinkle in the garlic powder, stir in the crabboil, and bring the mixture to a bubbly, active sizzle. Then drop in the shrimp and the crawfish tails and saute them until the shrimp turn pink and the crawfish tails curl (but do not overcook). Then drain off and toss out the cooking liquid, transfer the shrimp and crawfish tails to the food processor, and using the pulsating button chop them both together to make a semi-coarse seafood mixture. When you have it at the proper consistency, set it aside for awhile.
You can find the 8x10 lasagna sheets (or even the square 4x4 sheets) at some gourmet grocery stores. If you can't find them, however, you can easily substitute the large manicotti sleeves in their place, stuffing them with the stuffing mix and serving them just as you would the cannellonis.
If you find that you have any of the pepper cheese sauce left over, you can store it in your refrigerator for about 7 days and use it as a topping or garnish on almost anything you cook.
Since you're going to use the crawfish etouffee only as a garnishing sauce, you'll certainly have a lot of it left over. But that's the whole point of this recipe-which means you should plan to cook a little rice on the side and serve up all this 'extra' etouffee as a whole new entree later in the week (or maybe even for supper the same day you have the cannellonis).
Oh-just for the record, the quantities in this recipe can all be reduced by half to make small portions.
Pepper Cheese Sause
1 stick butter
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. granulated onion
6 oz. chicken broth
1 pint Half-N-Half cream
4 cups pepper cheese, shredded
Start by taking a 3-quart saucepan and melting down the butter. Then whisk in the flour and, ever so gently, make a light butter roux (expect to cook the mixture for about five minutes over a medium-low heat, but do not let the flour brown). Next, stir in the garlic, the onion, and the chicken broth and bring the combination to a rolling boil for about two minutes. Then a little at a time begin whisking in the Half-N-Half. When the cream base eventually comes to a slow boil, whisk in the shredded cheese and continue to blend it until your sauce forms and the consistency turns smooth.
It's at this time that you go back to the chopped seafood and fold in the green onions, mozzarella, and the half cup of shredded pepper cheese. Then blend in enough of the pepper cheese sauce to moisten the stuffing and hold it all together. Finally, quarter the pasta sheets, fill each one with the stuffing mix, roll them up, and set them aside until you have the Crawfish Etouffee Sauce ready.
Crawfish Etouffee Sauce
2 lbs. crawfish tails
1 stick butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup all purpose flour
2 quarts crawfish or chicken stock
1 ounce sherry wine
1 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, minced
Salt & cayenne to taste
In a 5-quart Dutch oven, melt down the butter and saute the onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaves until the vegetables have wilted expect to cook the mixture for about six minutes. Then drop in the crawfish tails and the tomato sauce and stir everything together well.
Next, whisk in the flour, cook it gently for about four minutes, then slowly blend in the stock a small amount at a time and cook over a medium-high heat until the consistency is that of a semi-thickened sauce. When the base comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and cook the base for approximately 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Finally, stir in the sherry, the green onions, and the parsley and simmer everything for another 5 minutes or so. Then finish up the etouffee by seasoning it to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.
All that's left is to take the cannellonis, reheat them either in the oven or in the microwave, and serve them up on a plate ladled with the piping hot etouffee. Of course, a little extra etouffee over the top of the pasta wouldn't hurt either!
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