Louisiana cooking often begins with Louisiana Cookin’. When the local crowd craves the c’est si bon of home or culinary curiosity piques the palate of the connoisseur in seasoned search of what Louisiana cuisine is all about, Louisiana Cookin’ magazine details the Louisiana lagniappe.
Featuring delectable details of our unique culture, cuisine and recipes to beat the jazz band, Louisiana Cookin’ is the guide we consult. Crawfish is in season, and this recipe for Crawfish Cheesecake places the season and seasoning spotlight on the regional delicacy and c’est si bon of home.
½ (13.7-ounce) box Ritz crackers
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ pound andouille sausage, sliced
½ pound crawfish tail meat
¼ cup chopped fresh jalapeño pepper
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs
½ cup Crawfish Beurre Blanc, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 325°. In the bowl of a food processor, add crackers, and process until finely chopped. In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add sausage, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add crawfish and jalapeño, and cook until jalapeño softens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside, and let cool.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add crawfish mixture, thyme, salt, and pepper, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.
Pour cream cheese mixture over prepared crust. Set springform pan in a roasting pan, and fill with water half-way up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until set and cheesecake jiggles lightly in the center, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before serving. Serve with Crawfish Beurre Blanc, if desired. Serves 8
Crawfish Beurre Blanc
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
¼ pound crawfish tail meat
¼ cup chopped shallot
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sauce
4 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 cloves garlic
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Stir in crawfish, shallot, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside, and let cool.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine wine, vinegar, hot sauce, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic, and cook until reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer; return liquid to pan.
Add cream, and cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in butter, one cube at a time, until butter is melted and the sauce is smooth; stir in remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in crawfish mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 6.