Sunday, August 6, 2017

Crawfish and Andouille Pie

     Old Fashioned Louisiana Cookin'!
     There are many great recipe variations for Crawfish Pie.  The pie crust can be sealed or it can have an open top.  The filling can be made with a cream sauce, a red roux thickened shrimp stock sauce or a creole tomato sauce.  Some Crawfish Pies are made with no sauce at all.  Fish, ham, mushrooms, sausage or smoked fish are sometimes added to the recipe to increase flavor.  Every Louisiana home cook and chef adds their own personal touch when making Crawfish Pie.
     More often than not, Crawfish Pie is made with a standard 10" to 12" diameter pie tin.  The big pie is cut into slices and served.  In recent years many restaurants have shifted to using individual portion size pie tins or small rustic cast iron pie skillets for meat pies.  Baking a bunch of small Crawfish Pies is the easiest way to serve a large dining full of guests, because there is less mess and less waste.  Individual portion size pies also look good on a plate.
     A small individual size pie tin or a single portion pop-ring mold can be used to make today's Crawfish Pie recipe.  The pie in the photo examples was made with a 5" diameter pop-ring mold.  When using a pop-ring mold, the pie crust has to be contained within the mold or the crust will break when the pop-ring latch is opened.
     Another item to note when making individual portion Crawfish Pie, or any sealed crust pie for that matter, is to be sure to poke an effective steam vent hole on top.  The steam vent hole that I cut on the pie dough for the Crawfish and Andouille Pie photo example was too small and a piece of the chunky filling clogged it up.  While baking the pie, the steam built up and the pie nearly exploded in the oven.  Luckily I noticed the swollen pie just in time, but the fancy decorative "wagon wheel" design that was applied to the top of the pie with dough scraps was distorted from being stretched by the steam pressure that built up.  Even so, the pie still looked okay and it is the flavor that counts.  All I can say is when making this style of pie, be sure that the steam vent hole is cut large enough so it does not get clogged up!      
     Many old traditional Crawfish Pie recipes are made with canned condensed milk or cream.  Canned condensed milk was a real commodity back in the old days before refrigeration was commonplace.  Not much has to be done when using canned condensed milk, because it is the consistency of reduced fresh cream, so less roux is needed for thickening the sauce.
     Needless to say, using condensed canned milk will yield a heavy Crawfish Pie that may be better suited for chilly weather.  Making a roux thickened sauce with shrimp stock and milk will yield a slightly lighter filling that is better suited for warm weather.
     For today's recipe, Andouille Sausage was added to the crawfish filling.  Enough Andouille was added to warrant mentioning the sausage in the recipe title.  The smoky spicy flavor of Andouille compliments the flavor of crawfish.  The flavor is guaranteed to not disappoint guests!
     French Pie Crust:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
      Pâte Brisée - French Pie Crust Dough

     Crawfish and Andouille Pie Filling:
     This recipe yields about 1 3/4 cups.  (Enough for 1 hearty individual portion pie.)
     The filling can be made well ahead of time!
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 cup of diced Andouille Sausage.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped seeded Green Serrano Pepper.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped mixed red and green bell pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped celery.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Sauté and stir till the vegetables are tender, but not browned.
     Step 2:  Add just enough flour while stirring, to soak up the excess grease in the pan and to make a pan roux.  (About 1 tablespoon.)
     Stir until the flour thoroughly combines.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 cup of shrimp stock.
     Add 3/4 cup of cream.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Stir the sauce as it heats and thickens.
     *The sauce should be a medium thin consistency at this point.
     Step 4:  Add 3 tablespoons of small chopped tomato.
     Add 1 minced green onion.
     Add 1/2 cup of shelled crawfish tail meat.  (Add the orange crawfish fat from each crawfish head shells too!)
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 small pinch of basil.
     Add 1 small pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of minced Italian Parsley.
     Step 6:  Add 1 pinch of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 or 2 pinches of cayenne pepper.  (to taste)
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 7:  Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium heavy consistency that easily coats the ingredients.
     Step 8:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Remove the bay leaf.
     Allow the filling to cool to room temperature.
     Place the Crawfish and Andouille Filling in a container.
     Chill in a refrigerator to 41ºF.

     Crawfish and Andouille Pie:
     This recipe yield 1 hearty individual portion pie.
     Step 1:  Select a 5" diameter pop-ring mold or small pie tin that has a 1 1/2 cup to 2 cup capacity.
     Brush the pie mold with melted unsalted butter.
     Step 3:  Roll 2 thin round sheets of the French Pie Dough that are about 3" wider than the pie mold.
     Drape one sheet of dough over the pie mold.
     Press the dough in place.
     Trim the excess dough around the rim of the pie mold, so it is slightly larger than the pie mold.
     Step 2:  Spoon the chilled Crawfish and Andouille filling into the pie.  (Fill the pie almost to the level of the rim.)
     Step 3:  Brush the edge of the pie dough with egg wash.
     Drape the second sheet of pie dough over the top of the pie.
     Gently press the edges together.
     Trim off the excess pie dough.
      Use a fork to gently press the edge of the crust together, so the fork leaves decorative marks.
     Step 4:  Brush the top of the pie with egg wash.
     Cut some of the excess pie dough scraps into decorative shapes.
     Decorate the top of the pie.
     Brush the decorations with egg wash.
     Step 5:  Poke a small steam vent hole in the top center of the pie.  (About 1/4" diameter.)
     Step 6:  Place the pie mold on a baking pan.
     Place the pan in a 425ºF oven.
     Bake till the crust is golden brown and the filling is piping hot.
     Step 7:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Allow the pie to cool to a safe serving temperature.
     Carefully remove the pie from the pie mold.
     Step 8:  Use a large spatula to place the finished individual portion size Crawfish and Andouille Pie on a plate.
     Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     Serve with vegetables on the side.

     Hoo dawgy!  This is a tasty Crawfish and Andouille Pie!

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