Crawfish boils start kickin' into gear around Good Friday. There's usually a resurgence around Mother's Day and graduation.
We went crawfishing during a recent trip to New Orleans. This involves finding a spot off the side of the road. And by spot I mean ditch. A muddy ditch.
Nets on triangular frames are baited. In some parts, it's chicken or turkey necks. In the New Orleans area, beef melt is used. Trust me. It isn't as good as it sounds. Beef melt is the smelliest, nastiest, reekingest thing ever. EVER.
When we go crawfishing and it's time to bait the nets or...gag...squeeze the bait to "refresh" it, I quietly slink to the back of the group and try to look very busy with something else. "Fixing" a net. Tying a shoe. Eating a donut. You know, important things.
After all these years, my brother (the smart ass one...oh wait, that doesn't narrow anything down) finally caught on. Gave me grief about "being a girl." I baited some nets. But drew the line at squeezing the bait.
Sometimes it's a big catch.
Sometimes it's a cute one.
He was released.
My mother-in-law recently bought herself a countertop grill, grilled up some peppers, and stuffed them with a mixture of shrimp and bread crumbs
Seafood stuffed peppers are common here, although the peppers are usually baked. I liked mother-in-law's grilled peppers much more and used that as my starting point.
In hindsight, I should have grilled the peppers first, then stuffed them. It was hard to get them evenly grilled when they were full of stuffing. At the time my focus was more on speed than anything else.
Live and learn.
But I'm still not squeezing bait.
This month's Pantry Party theme is "Stuffed"
I always have onions, garlic, and Tony's Creole seasoning in my pantry.
Found a can of corn too.
Crawfish Stuffed Grilled Peppers
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 red bell peppers (can use yellow or orange or a mix)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb crawfish tails *see note
1/2 tsp Tony's Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
about 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. While the oil heats, slice each red pepper in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and ribs. Set aside.
When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and green bell pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the crawfish and season with Tony's and salt. If the mixture seems dry, add about 1 tablespoon of water. Cook the crawfish for about 5. Add the corn and tomato and saute for a minute or two. Toss in the green onion.
Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan.
Fill the pepper halves with the crawfish and corn mixture. Top each half with about 1/2 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Grill for 10-15 minutes, or until nicely browned in spots. ~~I filled the peppers first then grilled. It would probably be better to grill the peppers first then fill for even cooking.~~
Remove to a serving platter. Squeeze the lemon over the top of the peppers and sprinkle the zest on top.
*Leftover boiled crawfish would be good to use here. If this is the case, add the crawfish with the corn and tomato just to warm them. Also, keep in mind that boiled crawfish will be spicy. Season the filling accordingly.
Food on Friday: BBQ @ Carole's Chatter