Savory Cajun Crawfish Cheesecake with Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise

Delicious recipe made by Genêt Hogan raisedonaroux.com

cajuncrawfish cheese cakeIn South Louisiana, we have many, many food traditions. Those traditions vary from family to family, but all are tied in some way to the habits, cooking practices and specific foods of our region. During the spring, for instance, it’s all about our beloved dirt- digging crustaceans–the crawfish–and the way we catch, cook and eat them. My family traditionally kicks off this special season with a festive crawfish boil orchestrated by my husband who learned how to master his 80-quart boiling pot from his dad. It’s a rite of passage in these parts. We reluctantly end the seasonal rituals with a painstaking yet delectable pot of Crawfish Bisque. Inbetween, we prepare classics like Crawfish Etouffee and also experiment with new and exciting crawfish creations. This crawfish cheesecake recipe is the result of one such experiment. It’s a creamy concoction of crawfish, cream cheese and zesty spices nestled in a savory crust of bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and pecans–fresh Louisiana pecans. And it’s a testament to the fact that crawfish are not just for boiling and cheesecakes are not just for dessert!

Savory Cajun Crawfish Cheesecake with Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise Recipe

boiled crawfish1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely ground pecans
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
4 ounces marscapone cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound peeled crawfish tails, drained (but not rinsed) and chopped
1 1/4 cups Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise, see recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pecans and cayenne pepper. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, prepare the crawfish filling by heating olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, green onions and garlic; cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and marscapone until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add Lea & Perrins, Creole seasoning, salt and black pepper. Fold in cooled onion mixture and chopped crawfish tails. Pour mixture over prepared crust and spread evenly. Return pan to baking sheet and bake until top of cheesecake is golden brown and center is just set (it should jiggle slightly when shaken), about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove cheesecake from pan and slice into 8 to 10 wedges. Serve warm with a generous amount of Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise drizzled on top. Makes 8-10 servings.

Savory CajunCrawfish Cheesecake with Roasted Red Pepper HollandaiseRoasted Red Pepper Hollandaise Recipe
1 0.90-ounce package Hollandaise Sauce
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 jarred roasted red pepper, drained and patted dry

In a small saucepan over medium high-heat, whisk together Hollandaise Sauce packet and milk; blend until smooth. Add butter and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to simmer and whisk until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer Hollandaise Sauce to a blender, add roasted red pepper and process until smooth. Serve warm. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.


About the cook…

Genêt created Raised on a Rouxto to celebrate the culinary traditions of her family and hometown of New Orleans, and to indulge her over-the-top preoccupation with everything food and reflect on the adventures and absurdities of trying to raise her own family “on a roux.”   She’s a native New Orleanian currently keeping house in the North Georgia suburbs with an incredibly loving and supportive husband and three young children.  She and her husband are fortunate to have grown up in a city with a rich food and cultural heritage and strong family ties and we’re determined to pass those traditions and values on to their own children albeit 500 miles away.

Genêt coined the phrase Raised on a Roux as a metaphor for growing up in and living life as a New Orleanian no matter where you are and sharing that lifestyle with everyone around you.  It’s about never meeting a stranger, working and playing hard, caring about your family, neighbors and community and living a meaningful, relaxed life.  It’s about eating and drinking with total abandon (well, most of the time) and honoring your ancestors by preparing their recipes and passing them on.  Being a New Orleanian is also about conveying life experiences and recalling major milestones in terms of food and sharing yourself with others by inviting them to your table for a home-cooked meal.

She invites you to stay a while, get inspired, cook, eat, laugh, reminisce and enjoy learning what it’s like to be Raised on a Roux! So join her at http://raisedonaroux.com