Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Washed" into Our Lives

My husband is a true southern gentleman and exhibits this aspect of his character often. He always holds open doors for women, offers his seat to elderly ladies on the Metro and is ready to assist people in need in any way. Just last week Forrest's manners paid off for the both of us. He offered his assistance to a young mom at the dry cleaners who was struggling with her clothes and her young baby. He noticed during his offer that the mother had both LSU and Tulane stickers on her car. Always eager to meet fellow Louisianians, Forrest introduced himself and struck up a conversation. One thing led to another and after some email exchanges the lovely couple and their beautiful new baby came over for dinner on Saturday night for all of us to get to know each other. I thought is was the perfect opportunity to use my last pound of frozen crawfish from home and my last stick of authentic Louisiana andouille sausage. Our new friends were totally worth using the last of my well traveled ingredients ;-)

Corn, Crawfish and Andouille Chowder
Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken or shrimp stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch cubes) peeled russet potatoes
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Essence, recipe in link
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound cooked, peeled Louisiana crawfish tails (with any fat)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Place a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the andouille and 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Cook, stirring, until the andouille is browned and has rendered its fat, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the remaining oil, bell peppers, and corn to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock to the pot and stir to combine. Add the potatoes,

Essence, salt, cayenne, and thyme to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender. Add the crawfish

and heavy cream,

if using, stir to combine, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, just until crawfish are heated through. Stir in the chives, taste, and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Serve in soup bowls, garnished with the parsley.

This chowder was amazing! It was very spicy, so if you don't like spicy or are sensitive to high spice I would reduce the amount of cayenne in the recipe. If you are from New Orleans and are used to spice or if you just like spicy food then follow the recipe exactly - you will be pleased. Adding the cream at the end is optional but I highly recommend it, it gave the chowder an amazing richness and a very smooth texture. I also urge you to use fresh corn on the cob. The sweetness of the fresh corn was evident in every bite and definitely worth the extra work of cutting it off of the cob (Note to self: buy a corn on the cob zipper!)


Liz said...

My husband is also a gentleman, although he isn't "southern" he still loves to hold open doors, give his seat to the elderly, and assist people in need... and I think he'll love this. Thanks for the recipe!

Allison said...

Love the title!! Very clever!!

Gabriela said...

Don't you love it when we open ourselves to making new friends the way Forrest did? I couldn't be happier for you both that a chance meeting has "opened the door" to an unexpected and wonderful friendship Your recipe looks fantastic. I can just savor the heat of those exquisite spices!

Woody said...

Top 5 dish ever. I ate it for the next three days after our dinner party.

Stephanie said...

How sweet of your husband and you to have them over for dinner! Very inspiring to be better "neighbors"

Fearless Kitchen said...

What a helpful husband! It's so nice to meet people that way. And the chowder looks delicious too!

MaryBeth said...

This looks and sounds amazing.

Bridget said...

I made this for dinner tonight, and it was so good! To be honest, I took a pretty lackadaisical attitude toward it, not measuring anything and leaving out the corn entirely. But, it was still great.

Ally said...

I love how you shared your last stick of andouille, and the last of the crawfish, I so know how you feel! Great that you shared it with someone who knew how to appreciate it. What a sweet dh you have!