New Orleans Crawfish Monica

Crawfish Monica is one of the most popular dishes served every year at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. “Jazz Fest” has been held continuously since 1970, other than when Hurricane Katrina shut everything down and the past two years due to the pandemic. From its early Jazz roots, initially attended by 350 people, Jazz fest has grown to 7 stages spread over an old horse racing track. Each stage showcases bands of a different music genre like blues, rock, blues, modern jazz, traditional New Orleans jazz, gospel, folk, world music, etc. Attendance has grown as well, from 350 folks in year one to tens-of-thousands each day over the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May.

That’s a lot of hungry fair goers to feed and the festival includes more than just musical performances. The “…and Heritage Festival.” part includes food booths featuring local Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as local arts and crafts. Crawfish Monica was created to be served at the fairgrounds and always has one of the longest lines. In fact, many a Jazz Fest regular believes the festival officially begins only after they’ve had their first Crawfish Monica.

Crawfish Monica

This recreation of the Jazz Fest original is a very simple but elegant dish that will impress your guests in a big way. If fresh or frozen crawfish tails are unavailable, shrimp or lobster chopped into pieces works well. This is basically macaroni and cheese on steroids.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Brunch, Side Dish, Street Food
Cuisine: American, American Deep South, New Orleans, North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Large pot

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Rotini pasta
  • 1 lb Fresh or frozen crawfish tails, boiled and peeled (or shrimp or lobster meat, chopped)
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 pint Half-and-half
  • 1 bunch Scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Creole Seasoning

Instructions

  • Prepare – Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain, rinse under cold water to stop cooking,
  • Cook – In same pot pasta was boiled in, melt butter over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic. Saute 3 minutes. Add seafood and cook 2 minutes more. Add half-and-half and Creole seasoning.
    Cook for 5-10 minutes until sauce thickens. Add pasta and toss well. Reduce heat to very low and cook 10 minutes more, stirring often. Serve immediately with lots of French bread and good music.

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