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Crawfish Tamales w/ a Crawfish Sauce and Avocado Cream w/ Spanish Rice

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  • Crawfish Tamales w/ a Crawfish Sauce and Avocado Cream w/ Spanish Rice

    Posted in the Facebook Group by Johnny Gill -

    I was raised in Texas as a youngen but now live in Louisiana and have for many years. Love me some TexMex food. That being said, I love trying to infuse Cajun and Mexican food. CajunMex if you will. LOL

    After a good crawfish boil I’m usually up late peeling what’s left to vacuum seal and throw in the freezer to make other dishes with later. I looked the internet over for a crawfish tamale recipe and found this one here. Great recipe and starting point for my crawfish tamale journey. I’ve made several twists and turns along the way and tweaked this or that but this is a great starting point.

    Click image for larger version

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    Masa ingredients:
    • 21 cups cornmeal
    • 2 T baking powder
    • 7-1/2 tsp salt
    • 1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1-1/2 tsp granulated garlic
    • 13 cups water
    • 8 T seafood base
    • 18 cups lard
    • 4 large bundles corn shucks

    Filling ingredients:
    • 1-1/2 lbs butter
    • 8 cups onion, diced
    • 4 cups bell pepper, diced
    • 2-1/2 cups celery, diced
    • 1-1/2 cups jalapeno, seeded & diced
    • 7 lbs crawfish tails
    • 7 T seasoned salt (use your favorite: Tony’s, Slap Ya Mama, etc.)
    • 1 T cumin
    • 1 T chili powder
    • 1 T cayenne pepper
    • 1 T Zatarain’s liquid crab boil
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 3-1/4 lbs shredded pepper jack cheese

    For the masa:

    Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate container, mix water and seafood base. Slowly add water mixture to the dry ingredients, using your hands to combine the two. A cup at a time, add the lard, continuing to mix with your hands until all lard is incorporated. Set masa aside until needed.

    For the filling:

    melt butter in a large pot. Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and jalapenos to the melted butter; cook until onions are wilted. Add garlic, crawfish tails, seasoned salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, crab boil, and salt. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat to combine the flavors. Place filling mixture in refrigerator until it begins to congeal. (DO NOT fill tamales while filling is hot.)

    To make tamales:

    Soak corn shucks in very warm water for at least 20 minutes. Tear ½ inch strips from the smaller corn shucks. Tie two strips together; 120 of these two-strip pieces are needed to tie the tamales. Place a large corn shuck on a flat surface and place ¼ cup (or a #16 scoop) of masa onto the right hand side of the square end of the shuck. Using three fingers, spread the masa to form a 4-inch square. Place 2-3/4 tablespoons (approximately 1/6cup, or a #24 scoop) chilled crawfish mixture onto the center of the masa, spreading it slightly lengthwise. Place 1-1/2 tablespoons pepper jack cheese atop the crawfish filling. Fold the corn shuck over, covering the filling with masa. Fold the empty end of the shuck over onto the tamale. Roll the tamale up. Top the open end with masa to fill. Place the tamale onto another shuck, keeping the pointed end of the shuck outward. Roll the second shuck around the tamale and fold the excess shuck under the bundle. Use a cornhusk strip to tie the extra shuck into place. Place filled & tied tamales onto a sheet pan while filling & wrapping remaining tamales.

    To cook tamales:

    place a few corn shucks into the bottom of a colander, steamer basket, spaghetti-pot insert, or 4-inch deep perforated pan. Place about 24 tamales into the pan. Fill a pot large enough to accommodate the colander, steamer basket, etc. with ½ gallon water. Insert the basket or colander of tamales atop the pan of water; ensure that the water does not touch the tamales. Cover the entire top tightly with foil. Cook over medium heat for 1-1/2 hours. Watch carefully near end of cooking time to ensure that pot does not boil dry—a lack of steam will impart a burned taste, spoiling the entire batch of tamales.