Crawfish and Tasso Enchiladas


New Orleans Crawfish Enchiladas

Crawfish Enchiladas

We spent the week after Christmas with family back home in New Orleans. Whenever we’re there, we always get some sort of boiled seafood. Sometimes we buy it already cooked. Other times, usually when the seafood that’s in season is running good, we purchase it live and boil it ourselves at my in-laws’ house. During this most recent visit, lovely Louisiana blue crabs were in season. But supplies were limited due to cold temps and rain. So we ordered several dozen boiled from my father-in-law’s buddy Captain Sid. As we pulled into the parking lot to pick them up, my youngest daughter Blair yelled with excitement from the back seat, “They have crawfish!” Sure enough, there was a large handwritten sign taped to the window of Sid’s seafood market advertising crawfish. We all grinned from ear to ear. Because finding crawfish this time of year–especially live and by the sack–is like discovering an overlooked Christmas present. You know, the one that was tucked so deep under the tree that you didn’t realize it was there until you took the tree down? Oh yeah! We were thrilled. That was Friday. On Saturday, we returned to Captain Sid’s to snag a 34-pound sack of our beloved crustaceans. We brought them back to the Hogans where the hubby and Poppy (my father-in-law) boiled them to perfection. The rest of the evening was spent pinching, sucking and peeling our way to full bellies! They were delicious. Two weeks have past and we’re still thinking about crawfish. But we won’t be able to get any shipped up to Georgia for a few weeks. So to tide us over, I pulled the last two pounds of crawfish tails out of the freezer and made a ginormous dish of Crawfish and Tasso Enchiladas.

Crawfish and Tasso Enchiladas are a little bit Mexican and a lot Cajun. They’re a decadent mix of sweet crawfish and spicy tasso awash with a trinity-garlic-pepper-infused cream sauce that’s tucked in a tortilla, smothered in cheese and baked. I’ve made them with both flour and corn tortillas. And I have to say, much to my surprise I like the flour ones the best. The flour tortillas are also easier to work with and they have a softer bite and less-intrusive taste. The corn tortillas tend to soak up too much of the sauce which causes them to tear open as they bake (I could probably avoid that problem by warming the tortillas in a bath of hot oil first but I don’t like doing that). With respect to the cream, you want to go full-fat to keep the sauce from separating. If you must cut back on the cream and sour cream, cook the sauce lower and slower once you add those items (and keep your fingers crossed). And finally, if you don’t have or can’t find tasso (that spicy smoked Cajun ham), don’t stress. Substitute andouille sausage, another smoked sausage or any good quality smoked ham. Another option would be to go straight crawfish. Also, don’t overlook the fact that this recipe makes about 20 enchiladas. That’s a perfect dinner and a couple of leftover lunches for my family of five. If that’s too much for your crew, cut the recipe in half or save it for company. Hope you enjoy!

Crawfish and Tasso Enchiladas Recipe

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Seasoning Mix
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 stick unsalted butter
1 8-ounce package tasso, trimmed of fat and diced
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup sour cream (use full fat)
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 pounds frozen crawfish tails, thawed and drained (but not rinsed)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
20 6-inch flour or corn tortillas

Preheat broiler. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix; set aside. Grease a large baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add tasso, onions, peppers, green chiles and garlic; cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in seasoning mix and cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until cream begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Whisk in sour cream. Cook, whisking constantly, until sour cream is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of each of the grated cheeses; cook, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Stir in crawfish tails and green onions and cook until heated through, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat. Wrap tortillas in wax paper or a stack of damp paper towels and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup of the crawfish mixture and place seem side down in prepared dish. Evenly spoon remaining crawfish mixture over enchiladas and top with reserved cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and begins to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 10 servings.

Genêt

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5 Responses
  1. Kacie says:

    This looks amazing! Now that crawfish are popping up all over Baton Rouge, this is next on my to-cook list. Thanks! :-)

  2. Cathy Shearer says:

    I made these today.. my husband said they rock! There’s an Hebert’s (Cajun meats from Lafayette) here in Houston, so I was able to get the crawfish and the Tasso. Delicious!

  3. Adele says:

    This was absolutely decadent and delightful. Many thanks!!

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