Crawfish Monica

Crwafish Monica on a white plate with green salad and french bread

Crawfish Monica, the most popular dish at the New Orleans Jazz Festival-succulent crawfish tails cooked in rich and spicy cream sauce, then tossed with pasta. It’s great with Rotini or Fusilli pasta but also goes well with Fettuccine or Farfalle. This is Sweet Daddy D’s version of the dish created in the early-1980’s which became a New Orleans classic in a short period of time. 

Crwafish Monica on a white plate with green salad and french bread
Crawfish Monica
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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Crawfish Monica is succulent crawfish tails cooked in spices and a rich cream sauce then tossed with pasta. This is the most popular dish at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Great with Rotini or Fusilli pasta but also goes well with Fettuccine or Farfalle. This dish was created in the early-1980's and has become a New Orleans classic in a short period of time. Try it with some warm and crispy french bread and a nice green salad.
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 588
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 588
Crwafish Monica on a white plate with green salad and french bread
Crawfish Monica
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Crawfish Monica is succulent crawfish tails cooked in spices and a rich cream sauce then tossed with pasta. This is the most popular dish at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Great with Rotini or Fusilli pasta but also goes well with Fettuccine or Farfalle. This dish was created in the early-1980's and has become a New Orleans classic in a short period of time. Try it with some warm and crispy french bread and a nice green salad.
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 588
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 10 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
30 Minutes 588
Here's What You Need
Here's What You Do
  1. Cook the pasta to al denté according to the package direction.
  2. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta. Drain but do not rinse, return the pasta to the pot, add the cooking liquid and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Set aside, covered to keep warm.
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium high heat until frothy.
  4. Add the yellow onions and saute until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and continue to saute until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the creole seasoning and cayenne (if using) and stir well. Saute another two or three minutes.
  7. Add the wine, bring to a heavy simmer and allow the wine to evaporate almost completely.
  8. Add the cream and lemon juice, stirring and shaking the pan until well blended.
  9. Simmer on low for a few minutes until it begins to slightly thicken.
  10. Add the crawfish tails a few at a time and stir well to blend completely.
  11. Allow the crawfish tails to only warm through, then add the green onions and parsley.
  12. Mix well and simmer about two minutes.
  13. Add in the cooked pasta a little at a time. Stir completely until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the crawfish are distributed throughout. You may not use all the pasta because you want it to be creamy with a good coating of sauce over all the pasta.
  14. Stir in about 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well.
  15. Remove from the heat. When serving, sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top.
Recipe Notes

Great with Rotini or Fusilli pasta but also goes well with Fettuccine or Farfalle.

Louisiana Crawfish tails are the very best because they contain some sweet crawfish "fat" which adds a great depth of flavor. You can usually find them frozen at the seafood market or better grocery stores or online at Amazon.  If you have to use imported crawfish tails, I strongly suggest rinsing them before using. Often the imported crawfish will be slightly bitter unless rinsed.

Nutrition Facts
Crawfish Monica
Amount Per Serving
Calories 588 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 66%
Saturated Fat 23g 115%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 279mg 93%
Sodium 627mg 26%
Potassium 168mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 46%
Vitamin C 18%
Calcium 24%
Iron 27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Homemade Shrimp Stock

3 home made chicken stock in quart containers
3 home made chicken stock in quart containers
Homemade Shrimp Stock
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Just about any dish is better when cooked with a rich stock instead of water. It's simple to make, easy to freeze and adds a flavor foundation that will elevate the entire dish.
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
3 home made chicken stock in quart containers
Homemade Shrimp Stock
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Just about any dish is better when cooked with a rich stock instead of water. It's simple to make, easy to freeze and adds a flavor foundation that will elevate the entire dish.
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
Here's What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend-Tied in a Bouguet Garni
Here's What You Do
Prepare the Ingredients
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place the margarine or butter in a pyrex measuring cup and melt in microwave.
  3. Spread shrimp shells and heads in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. (Use two baking sheets if necessary).
  4. Pour melted margarine over the shells and mix together so some margarine gets on all the shells.
  5. Place baking sheets in preheated oven and let roast for about 20 minutes.
  6. Quarter the onion and bell pepper-no need to peel or de-seed. Chop the celery into halves. Tie the herbs together in a Bouquet Garni and tie the bunch of parsley together. Place peppercorns in a small spice bag.
Make the Stock
  1. Remove the shells from the oven and add them and the resulting juice into a large stock pot. (If using two baking dishes, place shells from one in the stock pot, then add vegetables before adding remaining shells)
  2. Add all the cut vegetables, parsley, garlic, Bouquet Garni and pepper to the stock pot and mix together with shells.
  3. Add the cold water, the shells should be completely covered in water by about an inch.
  4. Place the stock pot over high heat and bring to a heavy boil.
  5. Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep things mixed up.
  6. Remove the cover and maintain a low simmer for about 1 hour until the liquid has reduced down to about half of original volume.
  7. Turn off the heat and allow to cool so it will be easier to handle and the flavors continue to blend.
  8. Place a strainer or colander over a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, place the solids into the strainer and allow to drain.
  9. Continue this until all the solids have been removed from the stock pot.
  10. Discard all the solids and return the drained stock back into the stockpot.
  11. Place some cheese cloth in the strainer or colander, or use a very fine mesh strainer, and pour the liquid through to remove any remaining solids.
  12. This can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
  13. If the stock will not be used within a couple of days, place the strained stock in freezer containers, label and freeze for up to six months.
Recipe Notes

Roasting the shells prior to making the stock intensifies the flavor.

Not having a large batch of shrimp? Just freeze whatever shells and heads you do have when you peel shrimp, even if it's just a half pound. When you have saved enough in the freezer, make your stock!

Use fresh herbs if you can. If you tie them together using butcher twine it will be easier to pull them out when you're done.  If you are using dry herbs, place those, along with the peppercorns in a cheesecloth bag. Bundling your herbs and spices like this is called Bouquet Garni and here's how to make one

I never add salt when making stock. Remember the stock is an ingredient in your final dish...so wait and salt the final dish to your liking.  If the stock is salty, the final dish may end up too salty.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Shrimp Stock
Amount Per Serving
Calories 46 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 65mg 3%
Potassium 124mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 41%
Calcium 3%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cajun Dirty Rice

cajun dirty rice in a white bowl with green onions, yellow onion, garlic and fork

Dirty Rice is a traditional Cajun/Creole dish which combines browned meats and liver with onions, peppers, Cajun/Creole spices and cooked white rice. It gets it’s “dirty” description from the color of the browned meats and particularly the chicken liver. Dirty Rice is too bold and delicious to label it just a side dish, but it is a very popular accompaniment with meats, fowl and seafood. A version of this dish, and there are endless versions, will always be found at family gatherings and holiday celebrations in South Louisiana.

cajun dirty rice in a white bowl with green onions, yellow onion, garlic and fork
Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Dirty Rice
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A traditional Cajun/Creole dish which combines browned meats and liver with onions, peppers, Cajun/Creole spices and cooked white rice. It gets it’s “dirty” description from the color of the browned meats and particularly the chicken liver. Dirty Rice is too bold and delicious to label it just a side dish, it is a very popular accompaniment with meats, fowl and seafood. A version of this dish, and there are endless versions, will always be found at family gatherings and holiday celebrations in South Louisiana.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
cajun dirty rice in a white bowl with green onions, yellow onion, garlic and fork
Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Dirty Rice
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A traditional Cajun/Creole dish which combines browned meats and liver with onions, peppers, Cajun/Creole spices and cooked white rice. It gets it’s “dirty” description from the color of the browned meats and particularly the chicken liver. Dirty Rice is too bold and delicious to label it just a side dish, it is a very popular accompaniment with meats, fowl and seafood. A version of this dish, and there are endless versions, will always be found at family gatherings and holiday celebrations in South Louisiana.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
57 Minutes 391
Here's What You Need
Here's What You Do
  1. Place chicken livers in water to simmer until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let them cool then give them a rough chop and set aside; reserve the cooking water.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt the bacon grease over medium high heat.
  3. Maintaining a medium high heat, brown the beef and pork in the bacon grease; when the redness is gone (about 5 minutes), add the chopped chicken livers and mix well; cook together for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the yellow onions, bell peppers and celery to the meats and saute until the onions are starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in about half the green onions and then the garlic and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic is aromatic.
  6. Add the creole seasoning and the Worcestershire sauce and mix well, continuing to sauté.
  7. Add the stock and a little of the reserved water from boiling the chicken livers; mix together well and bring to a high simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by a little more than half-about, 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Mix in the cooked rice and blend well to incorporate all the ingredients. Taste and add kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Mix in the parsley and remaining green onions and cook on low another few minutes uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Sprinkle some of the reserved green onions on top when served.
Recipe Notes

For this recipe I use a combination of ground chuck (80/20) and ground pork. If you prefer to use one or the other, that's fine.

The chicken livers are an essential part of Dirty Rice. Many recipes call for using the gizzards also, so that is certainly an option.  Don't go overboard on the livers because they can certainly take over the flavor profile.  They should be a subtle background flavor, like all the other ingredients.

Remember that most commercial creole seasonings and commercial stocks have high salt content, so make sure that you taste as you cook before you add any more salt.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Dirty Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 391 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 123mg 41%
Sodium 543mg 23%
Potassium 203mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 53%
Vitamin C 35%
Calcium 6%
Iron 25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.