A piece of king cake and a helping of jambalaya sound pretty good right now, but if you can’t get down to Bourbon Street in time for Fat Tuesday, try this decadent recipe from the folks at Bayou, our town’s newest Cajun restaurant and bar.
Crawfish and Andouille Sausage Cheesecake with Tomato Coulis
Serves ten to twelve
1 c. unseasoned bread crumbs
1 c. Parmesan, coarsely grated, plus additional for garnish
1¼ tsp. Creole seasoning
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1½ tbsp. olive oil
1 c. onion, diced
½ c. green bell pepper, diced
½ c. red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 lb. Louisiana crawfish tail meat, chopped
1 lb. andouille sausage, diced
1½ lb. cream cheese, softened
1½ lb. smoked gouda, grated
½ c. heavy cream
4 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. shallots, minced, plus additional for garnish
8 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 tbsp. Creole mustard
For the cheesecake
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, and ¼ tsp. Creole seasoning in a bowl. Add butter and mix until evenly incorporated.
3. Press crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
4. Put 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet and saute onions, bell peppers, and 1 tbsp. garlic for a few minutes, until onions are translucent.
5. Add crawfish and cook lightly. Add sausage and mix well. Remove from heat.
6. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, Gouda, and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.
7. Add crawfish-sausage saute to cheese-and-cream mixture. Add eggs and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
8. Add a little more Creole seasoning, plus salt and pepper.
9. Pour mixture into prepared springform pan. Wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil.
10. Place pan in baking dish with 1-inch bath of boiling water. Bake until the mixture has set, about 65 minutes. Cheesecake should be browned on top and firm to the touch.
For the coulis
1. Heat remaining olive oil in a saucepan and saute remaining garlic and shallots until tender, about 3 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and their juice; cook 5 minutes.
3. Stir in remaining Creole seasoning and Creole mustard.
4. Puree in a blender and strain.
5. Cool to room temperature.
To serve, pour about ¼ c. of the coulis on each plate, rest a slice of cheesecake in the middle, and garnish with shallots and Parmesan.
Try more Cajun dishes at Bayou, 2519 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, between 25th and 26th Streets (202-223-6941 or bayouonpenn.com). Tonight’s Mardi Gras celebration, 5 p.m.-2 a.m., has beads, bands, and Big Easy fun.
Photo: Courtesy of Bayou
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