Courtbouillon Of Louisiana Seafood

Course : Cajun
Serves: 8
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2 pound bone-in catfish -- (2 to 2)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 pound jumbo lump crab
10 ounces tomato sauce -- up to 8
1 pound shrimp -- peeled (21-25 count)
1 ounce rotel tomato -- up to 8
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup diced andouille
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup chopped onions
2 pieces bay leaves
1 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 quarts fish stock
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons diced garlic
1 teaspoon salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Preparation / Directions:

Courtbouillon in classical cooking refers to a poaching liquid flavored with onions, carrots and various spices. Upon completion of the poaching process, the liquid as well as the seasonings, are discarded while the poached item becomes the entree. The courtbouillon of the Cajuns depends heavily on the use of the poaching liquid, as the flavorful base of this rich, roux-based tomato sauce, that has been revered here for over a century. In a one gallon stock pot, poach catfish in fish stock 10-15 minutes. Remove fish, allow to cool then debone. Reserve meat for later use and return the bones to the stock pot and allow to simmer while creating the roux. In a one gallon, heavy-bottom sauce pan heat oil over medium high heat. Using a wire whisk, add flour, stirring constantly until dark brown roux is achieved. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until vegetables are wilted, approximately three to five minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Rotel, Andouille, basil and bay leaves blending well into roux mixture. Slowly add fish stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook thirty minutes. Add fish stock to retain volume. Add green onions and parsley and season to taste using salt and pepper. At that point add catfish, crabmeat and shrimp. Cook an additional ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Correct seasonings if necessary. Serve over hot white rice or pasta. Source: Chef John Folse

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