Still losing my mind over this and it’s been 15 hours.
Because listen – CAJUN. RISOTTO.
Good old fashioned risotto, but crazy infused with cajun (creole, cajun, creole, cajun – let’s call the whole thing off) flavors. And on top of that, I used crawfish tails.
But we need to discuss this.
I’ve never had crawfish tails. Ever. Wait, maybe I did when I was a kid in Southern Arkansas. Hold on, those were crawdads. Wait, what are crawdads? Are they the same as crawfish? Hold on, I’m going to look. Hold on.
Okay, they’re the same as crawfish! And CRAYfish. Personally, I’d prefer to call them crayfish because it gives me the guilty pleasure opportunity to say cray. OH DAS CRAYfish. YOU BE CRAY, FISH.
Once I decided to include this alien sea creature in my risotto, I excitedly made a round of calls to my neighborhood grocery stores and landed a bag of frozen, cleaned crawfish tails. The bag is flat and thin, with a huge drawing of Louisiana on the front, and a tiny star over the city Eunice. The tails come in a thin red sauce. I’m not entirely sure what the sauce IS, because the bag only said, “CLEANED CRAWFISH TAILS.” Maybe blood?
But listen to the price – $19 PER POUND. I almost fainted. That’s lobster price territory! But I went ahead with it, because I’m obnoxiously stubborn and DESPERATELY NEEDED THESE TAILS IN MY RISOTTO.
The flavor is incredible, though. Succulent little bites of cray tail bliss. However! Swap in shrimp if the price tag makes you want to hurl. It will still be fab, either way.
To get the risotto going, start by sautéing some sliced andouille sausage and green bell pepper. Easy easy.
Then get those tails in. I sautéed them in a little bit of butter because CAJUN FOOD. I’ll never regret it.
(side note – some of the little tails looked like seahorses. which was odd, but strangely appealing.)
Then it’s the traditional risotto technique, with onions, garlic and butter, toasted arborio rice, wine, stock, stock, stock and stock. Simmer it on low and continue to stir until all the rice has absorbed most of the liquids.
One thing though! Add a tsp of creole seasoning at the beginning of the simmering. You will see STARS, I tell you.
Off the heat, stir in a little more butter, about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and fresh lemon juice. This will take it from here (my hand is at my waist) to HERE (my hand is at my topknot.)
Then, then, then! Hot sauce. Put a few dashes on your plate, along with some fresh parsley and D U D E S.
Ish be cray.
And by that I mean fish be cray. Hahaha!
This is your new beginning.
Give the tails a go! (I’ve never said those words in my life.)