Jazz Fest Crawfish, or Crawfish Monica Copycat

We promised a follow-up post to our Connecticut Crawfish Boil, one that describes what we did with that pound or so of crawfish tails that we forced ourselves not to eat. The leftovers, if you will. Well, with this particular dish, "leftovers" is not a word we would use. In this dish, the crawfish are still the star of the show, spicing up a cream and butter pasta that is known the world over from it being served at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, aka Jazz Fest. The dish is called Crawfish Monica.

According to the article "New Orleans Nostalgia" by Ned Hemard (found on the New Orleans Bar Association website here), Crawfish Monica was invented by the president and head chef of Kajun Kettle Foods, Pierre “Pete” Hilzim, who named the recipe for his wife. It has been served at Jazz Fest since 1982, and for several years was only available there or via shipment from Kajun Kettle. These days, some grocery stores local to New Orleans carry it.

As with most "secret" recipes, there are many "copy-cats" and we'd like to offer ours. Hemard writes, "The ingredients remain a secret, but one can rely that butter, cream, onions and garlic are involved." Indeed. Those four ingredients are the starting point for our version. Although it's been many years since Amy has attended Jazz Fest, she knows Crawfish Monica when she tastes it. And this creamy crawfish concoction with a kick is pretty darn close to the real thing. Without the lines!

Melt butter

Add garlic and chives, and...

...cook to soften.

Add crawfish, then...

...milk and cream.

Creole Seasoning adds a salty, spicy kick.
Cook to thicken, then...

Pour over pasta. Allow to cook over low heat for 10 minutes or so.

A. Ma. Zing. Ness.

Jazz Fest Crawfish, or Crawfish Monica Copycat

Note: shrimp or crab are great substitutes for crawfish if you can't get mudbugs where you live.


1 pound "leftover" crawfish tails, boiled and peeled
1 stick unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 fresh chives, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1-2 tablespoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1 pound rotini pasta

Set salted water to boil in a large pasta pat. In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and chives and cook 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add crawfish and saute for 2-3 minutes until warmed through. Stir in cream and milk, then add Creole seasoning to taste. Cook for 10 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and return to pot. Pour sauce into pot with pasta and place over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, and allowing pasta to soak up the sauce. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Wow. This looks awesome.

jck said...

It was! Tres spicy but delicious! Thanks for lunch!