The past couple of weeks it’s been frigid-to-the-bone cold outside. The 20 below weather, the luck of finding frozen crawfish tails, and a fellow WordPress blogger sharing their love of crawfish mac and cheese with me had me craving a spicy Creole style chowder something fierce. For this recipe I opted to use leftover Potatoes Au Gratin to thicken my chowder since that’s what I happened to have on hand and folded in a very generous portion of frozen corn kernels. I kept the seasoning to a minimum as well to allow the crawfish to take center stage but couldn’t keep myself from garnishing the dish with a bit of crispy smoked pork and fresh green scallions.
Feel free to thicken up your version of this chowder with leftover mashed potatoes, heavy cream, or toss in a bit more chopped potato than you need and smash a few tablespoons on the side of your pot just before serving. Basically you can keep this recipe lighter or thicken it to your preference and it is still going to taste amazingly cozy from the warm Cajun seasonings.
1 lb frozen Crawfish tails, thawed (or use fresh if available)
2 cups leftover Potatoes Au Gratin
4 cups Water or Stock
2 cups frozen Corn Kernels
2 tbsps Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, or to taste
1/4 tsp Red Pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 tsp Gumbo File, optional
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garnish: Smoked Lardons and Green Scallion
In a large Dutch Oven or soup pot, bring about 4 cups of water or stock to a boil. Add in the leftover potatoes and simmer on high flame until the potatoes are warmed through. Puree the potatoes with an Immersion blender (or countertop blender) until smooth. Feel free to leave the potatoes as chunky as you like. Add the Creole seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and Gumbo File and stir until well combined. Reduce to med flame and simmer the soup until desired consistency is reached, stirring frequently.
Once the chowder is thickened, turn off the flame and stir in the frozen corn until well. Add in the crawfish next, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Allow the chowder to sit covered at least 10 minutes. Ladle into your favorite soup bowls and garnish as desired.