Voodoo Crawfish Enchiladas

Recipe courtesy Alligator Cafe Chef/Owner Ivan Pugh
Show: Heat Seekers Episode: Dallas
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 50 min
Prep: 35 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr 15 min
 
YIELD: 6 to 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

FILLING:
  • 1 pound crawfish tail meat
  • 1 pound shredded jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun spice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme or oregano
    SAUCE:
    • Olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    • 1 teaspoon chopped shallots
    • 4 cups heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon Cajun spice
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
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    Directions

    For the filling: Roast the chile peppers, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes on a grill or open flame until charred on the outside. Place in a plastic bag or on a tray and cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

    Pull them out of the refrigerator and reserve 1 red bell pepper, 1 red onion and 1 red tomato for the sauce. Remove the skin and seeds (if desired) from the rest of the peppers while being very careful to not touch your face. Leaving the seeds in will mean your enchiladas are much spicier. For milder enchiladas, leave out the habaneros altogether. Scrape any black char off of your red onion and the outer skin (not good eats). After this is done, you want to mix your peppers, onions, tomatoes and hot peppers and chop them into bite-size pieces.

    When the vegetables are chopped, add your crawfish tail meat and half your jack cheese and mix well.

    In separate mixing bowl, add the Cajun spice, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and thyme. This spice mix you have created is a great blackening spice so save any extra you have. Some Cajun spices have more salt then others, so taste your mixture. It should have lots of flavor but have a nice balance of salt. If you find you need a little salt, add some seasoned salt or a season-all; if too salty, add a little more paprika, garlic and onion powder.

    Once you have your spices mixed together, add half of it to your crawfish mixture and taste.

    For the sauce: Add a splash of olive oil to a hot pan over medium-high heat, and then add the butter. Immediately add your garlic and shallots; this will cook quickly so have your cream ready to go. Cook for maybe a minute, stirring constantly (don't burn), and then add your heavy cream. Using a whisk, stir the sauce until it just starts to simmer. Reduce the heat to low and stir every couple of minutes.

    In a food processor, add the reserved red bell pepper, onion, tomato, Cajun spice, paprika and seasoned salt. Puree into a smooth consistency.

    Add this mixture to your hot cream and stir well. Turn the heat up to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Do not let the sauce boil over. (Allow the sauce to cool and then chill in the refrigerator if you want to make it ahead of time.)

    To assemble: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan to 350 degrees F.

    Using a pair of metal tongs, drop the tortillas 2 at a time into the hot oil for about 10 seconds. Remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Allow the tortillas to cool, but don't chill them. While they are still slightly warm, begin spooning in the filling about one-quarter of the way down the tortillas and then roll tight.

    Using a cake pan or a deep casserole dish, place about 1/2 cup of the cream sauce in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Add each enchilada side by side until the pan is filled. Pour enough sauce to completely cover the top. Add the rest of your jack cheese and place in the oven to bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The cheese should be bubbling hot and just starting to brown.

    Bon Appetit!!

    This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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