How to boil shrimp like a New Orleans native

This boiled shrimp recipe is from my Pensacola, Fla., brother-in-law, Tommy Ratchford, and he knows a few things about cooking shrimp. Bar none, this is the best result I have ever tasted.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

It’s just right: firm but not overcooked, and very flavorful like shrimp, not a bunch of overt spices. Don’t forget the secret ingredient in the boil: apple cider vinegar. It makes the shrimp easier to peel.

Tommy insists you shouldn’t cook more than 2 pounds of shrimp at a time. If you have more, just start over. I suppose this prevents you from under-cooking some and over-cooking others.

I’ve never tasted a batch from Tommy that wasn’t great. Enjoy!

Header image via flickr user mymoustache and used in accordance with a Creative Commons license.

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How to cook crawfish pie like a New Orleans native

 

Patsy R. BrumfieldThe Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

CRAWFISH PIE

Everybody “down on the Bayou” sings about crawfish pie, but what does it really taste like? Here is a simple recipe, which is a hybrid from Emeril and John Besh.

I also think the pie crust should be pre-cooked slightly before this goes back into the oven.

New Orleans folks have easy access to fresh crawfish, but the rest of us must settled for the frozen variety. The latter is not as gorgeous as fresh, but it easy and accessible. ‘Nuff said.

Crawfish pie makes a great entree with salad or other less spicy side dishes like roasted veggies. I also think it can be converted into impressive appetizers by spraying your muffin tins, shaping pie crust into each and adding the pie filling then browning in the oven 30 minutes or so (the cooking time is less than the full pie, for obvious reasons.) I’d remove the muffin-pies as soon as you can handle them to prevent the crust from steaming and getting too soft.

If you want to make your own pie crust, go for it. I’m buying the dough or prepared pie shells at the grocery store.

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How to cook crawfish etouffee like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK  

Patsy R. BrumfieldThe Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

CRAWFISH ETOUFFEE

If you’re gonna live in NOLA, crawfish etouffee is a must. For one thing, it’s easy and I’m pretty sure it will freeze for even better results later on.

This recipe is an adaptation of famed John Besh’s but without his supreme skill and courage for making an intensely dark roux. Frankly, we had a dark-rouxed gumbo recently out in NOLA and it wasn’t as good as mine (I hate to brag).

Anyway, this is a perfect recipe when you’ve got guests and want to act like you really know your way around the kitchen. Enjoy!

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