Thursday, August 29, 2013

NOLA Crawfish Pies

Hello, my blogosphere friends!

Have things ever been so busy lately. With only ten weeks left in my pregnancy, it is starting to feel like it is flying by; in addition, school has started back full swing, our small group has started meeting again, and we are trying to finish prepping in the meantime for baby's arrival. Needless to say, it hasn't left time for much extra, particularly posting for my blog. I have some great posts coming up, though. I have received the fabric I ordered from Carousel Designs (It is gorgeous!) and will be making a baby blanket tutorial soon. We are also getting close to nursery decorating mode, and I can't wait to document our progress.

In the meantime, I have prepared a post for you about one of my other passions: cooking! I have featured a classic Mississippi dish, Peach Cobbler, so I decided to put a little NOLA in your repertoire this week: Crawfish Pie. One of the best things about being a NOLA transplanted Mississippi girl is having all of my favorite family recipes from the hospitality state while learning classic New Orleans recipes from Prince Charming's family in the Big Easy.

These pies are delicious and incredibly easy to make. They are a great appetizer,  entree, or side item. They are a show-stopper at parties and showers, and look elegant enough to really spruce up any table spread. I hope you enjoy these crawfish pies as much as I do! 

Crawfish Pies

Chop up some green onion, green bell pepper, yellow onion, and celery. You want to make your dice pretty small if you are doing mini-pies like I am. You can do this ahead of time to save time on cooking day.

Next, finely mince about two tablespoon of garlic. (I am making a double recipe in these pics for our small group; feel free to half everything you see for a smaller batch.)

In a large skillet, melt down two sticks of butter. (It makes it oh so yummy!)

Throw in your chopped vegetables and sauté until tender. Sprinkle in a bit of salt (not too much here as we have more ingredients to add) and some black pepper as the veggies cook.

While the veggies get happy, grab a pound of Mexican Velveeta. (If you can't find Mexican Velveeta, a jalapeño cheese roll would work. You might even get away with a pound of regular Velveeta with a can of well drained Rotel.)

Chop the Velveeta into small cubes. This will help it melt quicker and more evenly when we add it to our veggies soon. 

Next, open two cans of cream of celery soup. This adds some body and extra flavor to the pies.

When your veggies are tender, throw in your two cans of cream of celery soup...

and the Velveeta cubes. Stir this frequently until the cheese has melted and everything is combined.

Now comes the star of the show: Louisiana crawfish tails. I have two pounds here (again, this is a double recipe), and I bought these in the freezer section at Sam's. I always try to buy local crawfish instead of that stuff from across the Pacific, but use what you can find! After a boil, we like to peel all the extra crawfish and freeze the tails ourselves for future use. :)

We will also be adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce with the tails.

Once the soup and cheese are all combined, throw in your crawfish tails and your Worcestershire. I also added a couple big dashes of hot sauce and a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning. Can't hurt, right?

Stir it all up and cook it together for about ten minutes. This is a glorious mixture! You may be tempted to pour it over pasta. Feel free; I won't tell!

Next, layout your mini-pie/tart shells. I buy the freezer section kind, but if you are an incredibly talented baker or just have the time on your hands, knock yourself out making your own. I also want to add here that I lined the baking sheet with foil in case of any spill-over. (You will see it in the next pie pic.)

I have to make mention that my Mississippi-NOLA collided life even spills into recipes. That's right...these pie shells are made in Natchez, Mississippi. 

Fill up your pie shells with the filling. This double batch made two baking sheets full! 

I think in all, I ended up with 28 mini pies. Not a bad showing for such a simple recipe, and don't they look so professional! You can stop here a day ahead and just pop these in the oven the day of your party.

Place the pies in a 350 degree Farenheit oven for 20-30 minutes or until pies are bubbly and starting to brown on top. I like to turn on my convection oven for these babies just to keep cooking even. check on them about half-way theough and turn the pan if needed for even cooking. Pull out and let cool. That's it! You are ready to serve. 

These go great with salad and French bread, jambalaya, gumbo, or even stand alone! Trust me on this; this recipe is a keeper! 

I hope y'all enjoy! Y'all come back now, ya hear?



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