C Crawfish Bisque Oyster’s Pearl, St. Charles Hospital Crawfish Stuffing


C Crawfish Bisque Oyster’s Pearl, St. Charles Hospital Crawfish Stuffing
Roadmap: Oyster’s Pearl, St. Charles Hospital
By Chef Blaine Guillot
Crawfish Bisque
Oyster’s Pearl, St. Charles Hospital
ontrary to what you might think, given
the location, Oyster’s Pearl is not a
standard hospital cafeteria. I estimate
that 40 percent of our business comes
from the general public. The attraction at this time of year is that I serve
crawfish bisque, complete with stuffed crawfish heads,
for lunch every Friday during Lent, and the parking lot
fills up with cars from around the community. It is not
unusual to dish up 400-plus bowls.
Our menu changes
depending on what is in
season and is extremely
affordable. There is always
a healthy combo option
on the menu at lunchtime,
and everything is value-priced. We feature local
favorites, such as soft shell
crab, fried local catfish,
roasted chicken, grilled
fish, and shrimp platters,
and an assortment of
vegetables and other sides
— a home-cooked meal at
an affordable price.
Chef Blaine Guillot
At home, my family has
enjoyed making crawfish bisque for years. During
crawfish season, we get together often for crawfish
boils and, in the midst of peeling the tails, eating the
tender meat, and sucking the heads, everyone keeps
an eye out for the biggest crawfish heads to save for
the annual bisque preparation.
On the day we prepare the bisque, it is a whole-family
affair. The labor-intensive process takes at least three
hours and requires that each person take on a task,
contributing their time and effort to the many layers of
flavor in the bisque. I enjoy teaching my kids and other
young family members how to prepare crawfish bisque
because, unless they carry on the tradition, one day this
time-consuming dish will be extinct. ◆
Louisiana Kitchen & Culture
| March / April 2014
Crawfish Stuffing
medium yellow onions
large bell pepper
celery ribs
garlic cloves
cup fresh parsley leaves (lightly packed)
pounds Louisiana crawfish tails, with fat
cups of Italian breadcrumbs
large eggs, beaten
Cajun seasoning
quarts vegetable oil
cup all-purpose flour
cleaned crawfish heads
Pour oil into a deep fryer or Dutch oven. Preheat and
maintain temperature at 350ºF.
Roughly chop onions, bell pepper, celery; pulse in a food
processor until finely chopped (do not purée) and spoon
into a large bowl. Add garlic and parsley to food processor;
pulse until finely chopped. Add crawfish; pulse just until
finely chopped. Place in bowl and add breadcrumbs, eggs,
and two teaspoons Cajun seasoning; mix well. Transfer
mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a plastic
freezer bag with one corner snipped off) and pipe mixture
evenly into each crawfish head.
Combine flour with one teaspoon Cajun seasoning in
a bowl; mix well. Dip stuffed heads in flour and shake to
remove excess; working in batches, fry stuffed heads in a
single layer until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and
reserve. Makes about 60 heads.
Note: Before stuffing, the heads must be soaked in cold,
salted water for about an hour. Rinse and drain before filling.
Cleaned crawfish heads may be purchased at some seafood
markets or clean your own crawfish heads from your family’s
crawfish boils. The cleaned heads may be frozen for an
extended period of time. Prior to using, you may wish to
soak the heads overnight in cold soda water. If you do not
have access to crawfish heads, the filling may be rolled into
small balls an inch or so in diameter and fried like meatballs.
Chef Blaine Guillot and his crew serve up hundreds of bowls of crawfish bisque every day at St. Charles Hospital.
Crawfish Bisque
cups vegetable oil
cup all-purpose flour
large yellow onion, chopped
large bell pepper, chopped
celery stalks, chopped
garlic cloves, minced
cups seafood stock or water
cup tomato sauce
bay leaves
stuffed and fried crawfish heads
(recipe preceeds)
salt, pepper, and hot sauce
bunch green onions, chopped
cup chopped parsley
hot cooked rice
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Evenly sprinkle
with flour and whisk well until roux is smooth. Cook 15 to 25
minutes, constantly scraping bottom of pot, until roux is dark
brown (do not burn). Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery;
sauté five minutes. Add garlic; sauté two minutes. Slowly
add one cup stock while whisking vigorously. Add remaining
broth and tomato sauce; stir well. Bring to a low-boil; reduce
heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often.
Carefully add fried and stuffed crawfish heads. Return to a
simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, two hours,
stirring often (do not allow heads to stick to bottom). Taste;
adjust seasonings. Add green onions and parsley; stir well.
Serve hot over hot cooked rice. Makes 4 to 6 servings. ◆
Oyster’s Pearl: 1057 Paul Maillard Road, Luling. 985-785-6242
March / April 2014
| Louisiana Kitchen & Culture