Crawfish Beignets

What’s better than crawfish? Fried crawfish...and that’s pretty much it.

When it comes to frying up mud bugs, it’s no surprise that we look south toward Louisiana for our inspiration. It was there that the crawfish beignet was born and every beignet ever made will inevitably be compared to the golden brown offerings that spill out of French Quarter eateries.

A far cry from the pillowy, powdered sugar-coated pieces of heaven that most people think of when they hear beignets, the crawfish variety is savory, spicy and slightly sweet due to being jam packed with crawfish meat.

In short, they’re a delicious concoction, one that makes an excellent finger food, appetizer to a larger meal or, if you’re feeling particularly decadent, a meal all to themselves.

Oh, and did I mention they’re easy?

Essentially a fritter, these Louisiana classics take only minutes to make. When you see how fast they disappear from the plate, you’ll be happy you don’t have to slave away for hours in the kitchen to make more.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients

30-40 crawfish tails, cooked and peeled

1 egg

5 green onions, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

⅓ cup flour

Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Peanut oil, for frying

Like I said before, beignets are shockingly easy to make.

First, combine the tails, egg, green onions, flour, cayenne and a dash or two of salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Whisk together until a thick, sticky batter has formed. Next, heat your oil for frying. I prefer peanut oil when deep frying, but any neutral flavored oil will work just fine here. If you have vegetable or canola laying around, feel free to use that.  

If you’re using an electric deep fryer, get your oil up around 375 degrees. If you’re heating it on the stovetop, get the oil shimmering and drop a small spot of the batter in. If it starts to fry up, you’re good to go. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, drop large clumps into the heated oil. Be sure to give them a nudge if they start to stick to the bottom. This recipe should get you enough for about 6 or 7 beignets.

When the beignets are golden brown on both sides, remove them from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain.

I like to eat mine with a drizzle of either Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce, but some folks prefer a thicker remoulade-style sauce, which is mayonnaise based. As is always the case when eating Cajun or Creole, an Abita beer should be in hand.  

Easy, right? Now get out there and get cooking!