Chefs’ Secrets: ’Tis the season for crawfish

March 31, 2016
By: Chris Waters Dunn, SA Express News

With the height of mudbug mania upon us, John Russ, executive chef at Lüke, has shared two classic recipes featuring Louisiana’s much loved Lilliputian lobsters — Cajun Crawfish Boil and Crawfish Creole.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the subtle differences between Cajun and Creole cuisines, suffice it to say that a Creole chef would make a stock, discard the solids, strain the liquid and use it to make a sauce; a Cajun cook wouldn’t let anything in the pot go to waste, having grown, trapped, hooked or shot all of the ingredients.

Cajuns were originally “Acadians,” French colonists living in an area known as Acadia in what is now southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. They were forced from their homeland by the British, and after much hardship, some began settling in Louisiana by the mid-18th century. Cajun cuisine is based on country French — rustic and earthy — reflecting a heritage of wasting nothing and making the most of whatever ingredients are available. For example, when celebrity Cajun chef Justin Wilson was asked what kind of wine he recommended for a particular recipe, he answered, “What kind of wine you got?”