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  Added: Jan 16, 2007  •  Visited (1548)  •  Print version Print this recipe (113)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe (2)  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
Crawfish Balls
What You Need:
  • 5 pounds live crawfish or ½ pound frozen crawfish meat, thoroughly defrosted and drained, and chopped into small bits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, preferably the flat-leaf Italian variety
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, including 3 inches of the green tops
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups soft fresh crumbs made from French- or Italian-type white bread, pulverized in a blender
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

  • How To Cook:
    1. Soak the live crawfish in cold water for at least 10 minutes, then wash them thoroughly under cold running water. In a heavy 8- to 10-quart pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Using tongs, drop in the crawfish and boil them briskly, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

    2. Drain the crawfish in a large colander and, when they are cool enough to handle, shell them one at a time in the following manner: With your hands, break off the ridged tail, snap it in half lengthwise and lift out the meat in one piece. If you like, you can snap off the large claws, break them with a nutcracker and pick out the bits of claw meat.

    3. Some or all of the yellow fat or "butter" from the body of the crawfish may slide out when you break off the tail. If it does not, cut off the top of the head just behind the eyes, scoop the body shell clean with the tip of one thumb and pick out the yellow fat.

    4. Chop the crawfish meat into small bits, and reserve the meat and fat (there will be about 2 cups). Discard the shells, heads and intestinal matter. (Frozen crawfish meat needs only to be defrosted and drained, then chopped into small bits.)

    5. In a heavy 1- to 1½-quart saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the flour and mix well. Stirring constantly with a wire whisk, pour in the milk in a slow, thin stream and cook over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, thickens heavily and is smooth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 or 3 minutes.

    6. Stir in the red pepper and salt and, with a rubber spatula, scrape the entire contents of the pan into a deep bowl. Add the reserved crawfish meat and fat, the parsley and scallions, and mix all the ingredients together gently but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning.

    7. Break the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat them to a froth with a fork or wire whisk. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate or a piece of wax paper. Scoop up about 1 tablespoonful of the crawfish mixture at a time and, with your hands, pat and shape it into a ball about 1 inch in diameter.

    8. As you form each ball, roll it in the bread crumbs, immerse it in the beaten eggs, then roll it in the crumbs again to coat it evenly. Arrange the balls side by side on wax paper and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes to firm the coating.

    9. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Line a large shallow baking pan with paper towels and place it in the middle of the oven.

    10. Pour the oil into a deep fryer or large saucepan to a depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil to a temperature of 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer.

    11. Deep-fry the crawfish balls, five or six at a time, turning them with a slotted spoon for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crisp on all sides. As they brown, transfer the balls to the lined pan and keep them warm in the oven while you deep-fry the rest.

    12. Serve the crawfish balls hot, as a first course or with drinks.

    To Make: about 3 dozen 1-inch balls
    This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Americas » Creole
    Main Ingredient » Shellfish » Crawfish
    Dish » Appetizers


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