Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

Although crawfish bisque is normally ground crawfish tails and seasonings stuffed into crawfish heads and cooked into a rich stew, there seems to always be a complaint from guests at the table. They seem to think that it takes too much time to get the delectable stuffing from those little heads as they eat. Well, here I have solved the problem by filling a single portion of catfish with an ample supply of stuffing. I recommend topping this dish with a 6-ounce ladle of Mr. Royley’s Crawfish Stew. This recipe can be found on my Web site or on WAFB’s seafood recipe page.

6 (5–7 ounce) catfish fillets
1 pound crawfish tails, chopped
¾ cup butter
½ cup minced onions
½ cup minced celery
½ cup minced green bell peppers
½ cup diced red bell peppers
2 tbsps minced garlic
1 egg, beaten
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped parsley
¾ cup water
½ cup white wine
¾ cup melted butter
1 tbsp paprika
¼ cup chopped parsley
Louisiana hot sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, melt ¾ cup butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, blend chopped crawfish tails and egg. Add cooked vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in approximately ½ of bread crumbs, blending well. Add remaining bread crumbs if necessary. Stuffing should not be too dry, however, it should hold together well when pressed between your fingers. Stir in parsley and blend well. NOTE: I suggest frying a small patty of stuffing in a skillet with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to sample the flavor. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Place an equal amount of stuffing in center of each fillet, roll into a turban shape and secure with a toothpick. Place fish in baking pan then add water and wine. Drizzle turbans with melted butter then sprinkle with paprika, parsley, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bake 20 minutes or until stuffing reaches 160°F.

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