Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jazz Fest Food: The Crawfish

A few friends and I spent a long weekend in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. We saw some amazing shows -- Al Green, Cee Lo, Tom Petty, the Beach Boys, Bon Iver, Trombone Shorty, Bruce Springstein, Steel Pulse, Ellis Marsalis, Feist, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Iron & Wine and lots of other great acts. We had some amazing refreshments to power us through the hot, sunny days; lots of spicy cajun food with strawberry drinks and desserts to cool us off. I kind of wish I was there for weekend 2, but I really am not sure my stomach could handle it. Check out the full food list here.

First, the crawfish! The best crawfish dish by far was the Monica. Creamy, cheesy pasta with lots of little crawfish tails, but so much more than the sum of its parts. Easily the best crawfish snack of the festival.

The crawfish beignets are a close second. Unlike the kind we had at Brenda's in San Francisco, where the crawfish was at the center of the dough, these crawfish were blended into the dough for a smooth, creamy, decidedly un-beignetlike snack.

The cheesy crawfish bread was fantastic in terms of doughy, cheesy textures, but might have been lacking a bit in terms of flavor. I think it just got overpowered by other spicy cajun foods. Still, it was one of my favorites.

The spinach and zuccini bisque with crawfish isn't much to look at, but it was a crazy satisfying breakfast on our last day at the festival. This was about when I started craving veggies alongside my crawfish.

Then for lunch, the strudel. Flaky pastry with a creamy mess of crawfish deliciousness inside.

For our epic picnic during Al Green's show on Sunday we were ready to take the plunge: the crawfish boil. The little guys soaked in a spicy cajun bath and came out succulent and juicy. They were really messy, but it was worth it.

Crawfish Monica
Kajun Kettle Foods, Inc.
New Orleans, LA

Crawfish Beignets 
Patton's Caterers
Chalmette, LA

Crawfish Bread 
Panaroma Foods
Marksville, LA

Crawfish Bisque
Baquet’s Li’l Dizzy’s CafĂ©
New Orleans, LA

Crawfish Strudel 
Coffee Cottage
River Ridge, LA

Boiled Crawfish
 Smitty's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Kenner, LA

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