What else would you have for breakfast after a crawfish boil but Eggs Benedict with a cajun twist?
Honestly, after as much stuff as we indulged in, we probably should have just had a bowl of lawn clippings for breakfast. And lunch. But I thought that leftover crawfish, bacon, and a spicy hollandaise sauce sounded much better. And no reason to stop the overindulgent train on a weekend before noon, right?
Eggs Benedict gets a Cajun makeover with leftover crawfish tails and a kicked-up hollandaise sauce.
For the spicy hollandaise sauce:
3 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp water
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2-2 tsp Creole mustard (or any brown or dijon mustard)
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
For each serving:
1 toasted English muffin half
1 slice of cooked bacon
1 poached or fried egg
Spoon of leftover crawfish tails, warmed
In a heatproof bowl set over a small pot of simmering water, whisk egg yolks with water, whisking vigorously, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice, a few dashes of Tabasco and 1/2 tsp of Creole mustard.
Whisk in 1-2 pieces of butter at a time until melted.
Season with salt and pepper and whisk in additional Creole mustard, if desired (I used 2 tsp total, after reserving some of the sauce for the Creole mustard hater in the house).
Keep warm over the doubler boiler, whisking occasionally.
Build your Eggs Trivette from the bottom-up: toasted english muffin half, bacon (breaking the pieces as necessary to fit), egg, spicy hollandaise sauce, and a spoonful of crawfish tails.
It’s spring here in Texas, weather-wise if not quite calendar-wise yet. With all this beautiful weather comes a flood of fresh produce that no longer requires considering a second mortgage, unlike that sad-looking, coffee stirrer-thin asparagus for $5/lb that was out barely a month ago.
Strawberries are abundant, wonderful, and on sale everywhere right now. But since some of my favorite strawberry recipes involve flour and sugar – two things that I’m trying to avoid right now – we decided to try to be a little more creative and focus on more on non-baked-good alternatives.
Enter Strawberry-Avocado Salsa, stage right.
The salsa is simply a tomato-less twist on pico de gallo… with strawberries. And avocado. And orange and lemon juices in place of lime. But other than that, you know, it’s exactly the same kind of wonderful that goes great with fish and chicken and chips and tortillas.
We whipped up a batch for a tortilla- and chip-less (but not margarita-less!) taco night on the patio – and it was pretty perfect. There’s a lot going on with the salsa: heat from the pepper, the sweetness from the strawberries, the richness of the avocado, and the acidity from the citrus. And all that goes on top of smokey, grilled salmon filet.
A white fish would work pretty perfectly, too. And so would chicken. A tortilla might make it even better… as would a side of tortilla chips to handle the leftover salsa.
Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Avocado Salsa
Smokey grilled fish topped with a sweet-meets-heat salsa of strawberries and avocado.
For the marinade:
Juice and zest of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil (plus extra for oiling grill grates)
4 salmon filets (~6 oz each)
For the salsa:
1/2 pint of strawberries, hulled and diced
1 large avocado, diced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded (or not) and diced
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt
Heat your grill to medium-high and oil your grill grates to prevent the fish from sticking.
In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients and then transfer to a shallow dish.
Place the fish skin-side up in the marinade and let sit for 10 minutes. (If you're using a skinless fish flip after 5 minutes; if using chicken, try to let it marinate for as long as possible.)
Transfer the fish to the grill, skin-side down and cook for ~10-12 minutes, until the thickest part of the fish is opaque.
While the fish is cooking, stir together the ingredients for the salsa in a medium bowl.
Serve the fish, seasoned with additional salt & pepper, topped with a generous scoop of salsa.
Spring is just around the corner! You can tell because we’re already gardening. And swimming. And every restaurant around here without the words “happy meal” or “value size” on their menu has a banner hanging off the front of the building with one single 8-letter word:
But even better than that? Pulling up to your grocery store and finding a crawfish boil going on right next to the big plastic truck kiddie shopping carts.
Three years ago I swore that I’d never use those things. And then The Little got old enough to realize how “awesome” the carts were and started throwing tantrums. So it was 1) die a little inside and push a kiddie cart or 2) eat a mustard sandwich for dinner.
Mustard sandwiches aren’t nearly as good as Crawfish Fettuccine.
Now, I’ve come to realize that the inventor of those things was a genius. You know what a Terrible Two/Three doesn’t care about? EVERYTHING. As long as they have a shopping cart with a fake steering wheel to keep them busy while you’re digging through the bins trying to find the perfect limes for margaritas.
Even the liquor stores out here have them. God Bless Suburbia.
I picked up a kiddie cart (I’m partial to the black one with flames on the side) and 2.5lbs of already cooked (doesn’t get better than that) crawfish for a couple of dishes, but after my husband finished peeling them (I do not peel crawfish), I only had enough for one.
So I tried to make it count.
I whipped up our favorite (and light!) alfredo sauce and then spiked it with Tobasco and creole mustard. A few simple flavors with a little heat turned into a pretty phenomenal dinner. It wasn’t so spicy that my 3-year old couldn’t eat it but enough to make it not-your-everyday alfredo sauce.
Turn up the heat on a light and flavorful alfredo sauce with hot sauce and crawfish.
8 oz fettuccine noodles, uncooked
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 green onions, chopped (dark green parts reserved for garnish)
2/3 cup milk (I use 2%)
3 oz (6 Tbsp) neufchatel
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp Tobasco
1 rounded tsp creole mustard (or other deli- or dijon-style mustard)
12 oz cooked and peeled crawfish tails
Cook pasta in salted water per package instructions.
Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain pasta and set aside.
In a sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Cook garlic and white and light green parts of the onion just until garlic begins to brown.
Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, milk, and cream cheese, stirring until the cream cheese has mostly melted.
Add Parmesan, tobasco, and mustard, stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is mostly smooth.
Add cooked pasta and crawfish tails, tossing with tongs or two large spoons to coat.
Add additional splashes of pasta water as necessary while tossing the pasta to smooth the sauce and ensure everything is coated.
I like following recipes when I cook. I can take a pile of ingredients and make dinner when I need to. But I like order and I like lists and I like continuity. And I hate wire hangers.
And on a day when I’ve stubbed my toe three times on that stupid coffee table while trying to wrangle a fast & mischievous toddler (and they’re even faster when they take their clothes off!), going into the kitchen with a clear-cut plan and an orderly list of instructions is pure therapy. (And so is the beer/margarita/wine I sip on while I cook.)
But this dish didn’t quite start with a real clear-cut plan when I ran into HEB for pork tenderloin to make this recipe and found salmon on sale instead. And I couldn’t pass up on-sale salmon that was already sliced into nice, center-thickness 6oz portions. And they were so perfectly lined up in the seafood case.
I simply wrapped those salmon filets in foil with green beans and those same basic flavors from the tenderloin recipe, threw it in the oven, and then said hi to the dish that we’d go on to eat 4 times in 2 weeks (and is on my menu again this weekend).
The salmon was perfectly cooked and the simple flavors don’t overwhelm the fish. The green beans end up in that nice grey area between just tender and still crisp. It comes together quickly and clean-up is a breeze. But best of all, the lighter dinner was super welcome as we headed into and out of the holiday dinner cream cheese & carbs overload.
Foil Packet Soy-Lime Salmon with Green Beans
Salmon is glazed with honey, soy sauce, and lime and then baked foil packet-style with garlic and fresh green beans.
4 6-oz salmon filets
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp honey
Red pepper flakes
3 green onions, cut and divided (white and light green parts separated from dark green)
1 lime, quartered
Green beans, trimmed (I used 12-15 per packet; thinner ones work best)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 425.
Tear 4 pieces of foil 12-14 inches long.
Place a salmon filet in the center of each piece of foil.
Whisk soy and honey together in a small bowl (a few seconds in the microwave will help if it's slow to come together).
Brush each filet with soy-honey mixture until it's gone.
Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each filet.
Sprinkle each filet with pepper, white & light green onions, and pinch of crushed red pepper.
Place green beans on top of the filet (they won't all stay) and top with garlic slices, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
Seal the foil packet - bring the right and left sides together and fold down, sealing, and then fold up each end to seal.
Bake for 18 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes before tearing open the foil and transferring to plates.
Serve the salmon and green beans drizzled with a spoonful of the foil packet sauce and remaining green onion tops.