1/2 cup cooking oil of choice, plus 3 ounces more (3/8 cup) for making optional roux
1/2 cup flour (optional, for roux)
2 pounds peeled, defrosted (if frozen) crawfish tails (or peeled raw shrimp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 bunch scallions, whites only, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, any color, chopped
2 teaspoons minced parsley
Minced garlic (at least 3 tablespoons or 6 large cloves)
1/2 small can (8-ounce) tomato sauce
1. If you want a thicker version of this dish, pour 3 ounces of oil into a heavy skillet, heat a little, add flour, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the roux is toast-brown. Set aside, off heat.
2. Pour 4 ounces oil (1/2 cup) into a cast-iron skillet or similar heavy pot, add the crawfish, salt, pepper, and cayenne and cook over high heat until the water is gone, stirring frequently. (If using frozen tails, this may take 25 minutes. If using shrimp, don’t cook longer than 10 minutes.)
3. Add onion, scallions, bell pepper, parsley, and garlic to crawfish (and optional roux, if using). Lower heat to medium-high and cook 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add tomato sauce and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 cup water, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Serve immediately over boiled rice.
WHAT THE CREOLE EATS
STANLEY JACKSON’S SCALLOPS BIENVILLE
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 pound dried fettuccine or linguini
1/2 pound scallops (or small oysters, or a combination)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 large cloves)
1 cup heavy cream
1. Mix first eight ingredients and set aside. (Recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons of this mixture. Save remainder for next time.) Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of spice mixture over scallops. Toss to distribute.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain, rinse in warm water, and set aside.
3. Melt butter over high heat in 10-inch skillet. Immediately add scallops and sauté one minute, stirring often. Add garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of spice mixture. Add cream and cook over high heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Add pasta, toss, and serve.
926 Turquoise Street near Cass Street, Pacific Beach, 858-488-6744, chateauorleans.com.
HOURS: Wednesday–Saturday, 6:00–10:00 p.m., Sunday champagne jazz brunch 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
PRICES: Appetizers, $7–$16; entrée salads, $10–$17; entrées, $12–$31.
CUISINE AND BEVERAGES: Cajun, Creole, and Southern dishes. Reasonable wine list, enough by the glass; numerous Louisiana and Southern beers; full bar.
PICK HITS: Texas cornbread; crawfish bisque; “purple fries” (fried eggplant appetizer); Cajun popcorn (fried crawfish tail meat); red beans and rice; gumbo.
NEED TO KNOW: Live music Thursday through Saturday. Wednesdays, wines 50 percent off; Thursdays, 50 percent off champagne, discounted hurricanes and margaritas. Four lacto-vegetarian entrées, one vegan.