Saturday, June 20, 2015

Louisiana Crayfish or Langostino Casserole

Dishes like this are common throughout the south wherever a good supply of small crustaceans is available. Often at parties you'll see casseroles like this one. Having had a bag of langostino tails in the freezer that got overlooked during the winter, I'm making this recipe today with that shellfish instead of crayfish tails.

Ready for the Oven ~ Tasty Langostinos
Crayfish, also known as crawfish or crawdads, are crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related but they live only in fresh water not salt water like their much larger cousins. In the United States, a langostino is an alternate name for the squat lobster. But a squat lobster is not a true lobster but rather is more closely related to the hermit crab. In any case, the crayfish tail and the langostino tail are so very similar you can use either one in this dish and get the same results.  I get bags of langostino tails at Costco in the freezer case. I usually add them to pasta in place of shrimp. I think you could substitute shrimp in this dish as well.

Julian's Louisiana Crayfish Casserole
I'm also cleaning out my pantry and using up leftover items and this recipe is perfect for that. Use either left over white cooked rice or the pouches of pre-cooked ready-serve rice. Fresh white rice will have too much moisture for use in this recipe, so use it at least day old. I like the little crunch the celery provides, but you could omit it if you prefer. If you do, the dish will be less moist unless you compensate.  All the amounts are approximate and as I always say, use what you have. This dish is not that particular and comes out good every time.

1 (10 3/4 ounce) can French onion soup
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
Simple Ingredients
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4 ounce) can chilies, diced, drained
2 cups (about) white rice, cooked
1⁄2 chopped bell pepper
1⁄2 cup chopped green onion
1⁄3 cup chopped fresh parsley
          or 2 tablespoons dry
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 pound crayfish or langostino tails, thawed

1⁄2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Stir together all the ingredients except shellfish and cheeses. Gently stir in the shellfish and transfer into a large casserole prepared with cooking spray (Pam) or rubbed with butter.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and baked 25 minutes more. Sprinkle cheeses over casserole and return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Fresh From the Oven

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