Crawfish Cornbread is a perfect accompaniment to your Mardi Gras menu or if you just want something delicious and different. I admit, I’ve never been to Mardi Gras but I do love Cajun foods and this recipe will definitely be on the meal rotation.
I find it difficult to find frozen crawfish tail meat in the stores I normally shop in. They do, however, have whole, cooked crawfish which is what I used for this recipe. It just requires cleaning them which is not difficult, it’s just time-consuming, much like peeling shrimp. If you are using whole crawfish, you will need to purchase about 3 pounds to get the amount of tail meat needed for this recipe.
TO SEPARATE THE TAIL MEAT FROM THE CRAWFISH
Twist the tail by holding it near the hard shell of the crawfish. Pull it gently and the meat will separate from the head. Press the shell of the tail together and it will crack. Remove the shell from the meat. You may find a yellow substance attached to the tail meat. Some call this the fat of the crawfish but it is actually the hepatopancreas that functions much like the liver in other animals. It is completely edible and considered by many to be the best part. I’ll leave that choice up to you.
To prepare the Crawfish Cornbread, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and saute for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, green onions, and jalapeno and continue to cook for another minute.
Stir in the cajun seasoning, crawfish, and any remaining juices from the crawfish. Remove from the heat.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. To this, add the creamed corn, milk, eggs, oil, cheese, and crawfish mixture. Mix well to combine all the ingredients. Pour into a greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet. If you have a 12-inch cast iron, that is even better. (I don’t have one of those.) If you use a 10-inch skillet, place a large baking tray underneath to catch any overflow that may occur.
Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until it is golden brown and the center is cooked through. I check by inserting a knife through the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done!
I just realized something…this Crawfish Cornbread has your proteins, dairy, veggies, and starch all in one dish. You could make this a meal all by itself. I would TOTALLY do that!
- 12 ounces frozen crawfish tail meat thawed and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1/2 cup red or orange bell peppers chopped
- 4 green onions, white and green parts diced2
- 1 jalapeno pepper 2 if you want more heat
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cajun or creole seasoning
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- 1 can cream-style corn
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- In a medium saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions and bell pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes until tender.
- Add the garlic, green onions, and jalapenos. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the crawfish, any remaining juices, and the cajun seasoning. Remove from the heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the milk, oil, eggs, cheese, creamed corn, and crawfish mixture. Mix well.
- Pour into a greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
- Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and set in the center. Place a baking tray on the rack below to catch any overflow.