I went back through my blog and didn't see this recipe, so that means you can hear the whole background story behind it. You're thrilled, aren't you? This is one of the husband's favorite dinner. Tomorrow is his big 3-0 birthday, and this is what he picked for dinner. Now, on to the story.
The husband and I met in February 2001. In April of that year, I got laid off. Oh, if I haven't mentioned it before, the husband grew up in New Orleans. Well, a suburb of New Orleans but close enough. I got laid off on a Monday, and while we were out that night drinking away my sorrows about being unemployed, I suggested we go to New Orleans for a few days. He had his own consulting business at the time and didn't have any real committments, so we figured what the heck. By the way, my parents were none too pleased I was setting off cross country with some guy I'd only known a few months. Not that it plays into the story at all, just a random side note.
We set off for New Orleans on Saturday morning, stopped in El Paso for lunch at my parents' house, and then drove on to San Antonio to spend the night at my in-laws'. I don't advise driving from Phoenix to San Antonio in one day if you can avoid it. It was horrible. Awful. One of the worst days of my life. There is absolutely nothing except one little town between El Paso and San Antonio. I take that back...there's lots of dirt.
I don't remember how many days we stayed in New Orleans, but while we were there the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (or Jazzfest) was going on, so we went. The husband was excited because it was one of the things he missed most about living there. It was awesome--we saw great music performances including BB King, but the food was amazing. We had some crawfish bread that was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Ever. Seriously. And I think I've eaten a lot. Here's what it looks like:
DOn't you want to dive right in to that bad boy? Mmmmm...looks tasty. To be perfectly honest, most of that trip is pretty hazy. Hey, we were in New Orleans with no responsibilities, so we were free to imbibe as we wanted. We did go to Mississippi and drink at a bar called Bubba's with John's best friend. We toured a plantation. I can't tell you a whole lot past that. I maybe could, but my mom reads this (just kidding Mom...it wasn't anything bad). The point is, it was an awesome trip, we survived a drive across Texas (880 miles on I-10 if you were wondering...and that was just across TX) which pretty much proved we'll be together forever, and I came back wanting to make all things Cajun.
So when we made it back to Phoenix, the husband (or I guess at the point "the boyfriend") and I were reminiscing about the awesome crawfish bread. I did some searching and found a recipe online. We were probably back less than a week before I made it. I switched it up some because the recipe called for making your own dough, and I didn't dig that back then. Actually, this may have been when I found out about the husband's love for cheese. The recipe listed is how I make it, not the one I found online. Emeril has a pretty good recipe for it, too, but it's a lot more time consuming. I don't like time consuming.
By the way, the picture above I found online when I was trying to see if I could find the actual official crawfish bread recipe. It was listed as one of the top five foods to eat at Jazzfest. Man, how I want to go back there!!
Jazzfest Crawfish Bread
1 container Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste (or Cajun seasoning)
1 pound crawfish tail meat, coarsely chopped
1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained and chopped
3/4 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup grated monterey jack cheese (or jalapeno pepper jack cheese for a bigger kick)
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
Roll out pizza dough until it's a nice rectangle shape, about 10"x14". In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and spices (obviously I use way more cheese than is called for in this recipe). Scatter the crawfish lengthwise over the center third of the dough. Top with pimientos, green onions and shredded cheese. Fold sides of dough over and seal down the middle of the bread. Fold ends up so none of the cheesy crawfish awesomeness leaks out the ends. Brush loaf with egg wash. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until done and golden brown, 30-35 minutes.
Mmmmm...doesn't it sound yummy? I stopped making it because all the cheese and crawfish wasn't good for the husband's cholesterol. Actually when I first started making it, I used shrimp instead of crawfish because I just couldn't find crawfish for a somewhat reasonable price in Phoenix. I've since discovered that Walmart sells it. It's not really cheap, but every once in awhile it's fine. I think it's $6 for 12 ounces of crawfish tail meat.
Tomorrow night we're going out for the husband's actual birthday, and Friday night is his boy's night celebration, so we're having his dinner request tonight. Actually Saturday we're going out just him and me as a combo birthday/anniversary dinner. Oh, and then Sunday we're going to dinner at my aunt's because there's an insane number of October birthdays in my family, so we're having a family dinner to celebrate. I gues I'm off the hook for dinner until Monday! Woo hoo!! Although I am making an amazing cake for the birthday dinner, so I'll post the recipe for that for sure.