Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Crawfish and Scallop Pink Pasta
Aparna and I were on our way to visit the temple where the wedding ceremony will be held so we could plan decorating logistics. On the way, I suddenly felt a small tug at my soul, forcing me to look on the right side of the road. There. A Popeyes restaurant in the distance. In Pittsburgh (Monroeville, to be more specific).
I was born in New Orleans, LA. The first morsel of solid food fed to me was Popeyes fried chicken (which explains my adept Popeyes radar. Thanks Mom). I lived there for the first eight years of my life. There, I developed a love for Cajun food, King cake, beignet, crawfish boils and strawberry shortcake.
My brother and I were on the swim team and after swim meets, my parents would drive to the McKenzie's near our house and treat us to a slice of strawberry shortcake. This was the only opportunity where I was allowed to lick the plate clean. I still do this, but don't tell my parents. They will feel shameful that their little princess acts like a Hubert. Actually, Hubert doesn't even lick his bowl clean. I'm digressing.
Since my Popeyes discovery, I've been craving everything related to my New Orleans experience.
I bought a box of strawberries, a pound of frozen crawfish tails and thought about buying a canister of Cafe Du Monde coffee, but I still have lots of coffee beans left, and I'm not sure I can go back to pre-ground coffee (so snobby, I know).
The box of strawberries will soon be converted into my birthday strawberry shortcake.
The pound of crawfish I used last night in a pink pasta.
I started this dish with the intention of making an etouffee, but after I cooked down the onion, oil and flour, I added a large can of diced stewed tomatoes and it started to look more like a pasta. Plus I forgot to start the rice cooker and so it was a matter of waiting 35 minutes for rice or 10 minutes for pasta. Exactly.
I sprinkled on some grated cheese (cheese and seafood? Yes.), and a splash of cream and it turned into a rich pink sauce. I generously spiced the mix with red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning (cayenne, black pepper, onion, garlic, chili powder, thyme, basil), Italian seasoning (more basil, more thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano) and salt. Added the sea food and simmered until it was rich and thick.
Ladled it on some penne pasta and The Boy dubbed it as one of his favorite dishes. I win! You can win, too!
It's no crawfish boil, but it hits the spot.