By Tim H. Martin
Plus, mini-interview with the Cajun of all Cajuns
Courtesy of Troy Landry from TV's "Swamp People"
• 8 bell peppers to stuff, tops removed
• 1 extra bell pepper for crawfish étouffée, small dice
• 2 lbs. crawfish meat, peeled; include crawfish fat if possible
• 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
• 3 cups yellow onions, chopped
• 3 stalks celery, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 can Original Rotel (10 oz. diced tomatoes/green chilis)
• 1 tbls. parsley flakes
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 3 cups cooked long grain white rice
Prepare green bell peppers for stuffing by cutting off tops and removing seeds and core. Parboil bell peppers in salted water for 2-3 minutes, remove and drain.
Next, make the crawfish étouffée. Sautee onions, chopped bell pepper, garlic and celery in butter until softened, then add all ingredients except the crawfish. Stir and simmer about 15 minutes.
Peel and rinse crawfish tails, and save and use some of the flavorful fat if possible. If using frozen crawfish, just rinse them off. Season the crawfish meat with salt and pepper, then cook in the pot with the other ingredients for 20 more minutes.
Cook rice while étouffée is simmering.
Mix rice with étouffée and spoon into bell peppers.
Place stuffed bell peppers in a casserole dish and roast in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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Talkin' Turtles with Troy By Tim H. Martin
In 2012, I had the privilege of sitting down with Troy Landry for a few moments at the Buckmasters Expo. While he and his sons were taking a break from signing autographs at the Swamp People booth, Troy and I spoke at the lunch table about his love for cooking. Here's a bit of our conversation:
Tim: "Troy, I heard you like to cook. Can you give us one of your favorite Landry family recipes?"
Troy: (Patting his belly) "Can't you tell I love to eat?" (Laughs) "Let's see ... oh! I love yellowbelly! Dat's one of my most favorites. First, you crack de shell an' get the meat, den you ..."
Tim: (Interrupts Troy mid-sentence) "Wait, what in the world is yellowbelly?"
Troy: "You know. Turtles. Like you see in de water. Man, you talk about someting GOOD!"
Tim: (Laughs) "Troy, I'm afraid some of our readers won't be able to find yellowbellies in the local supermarket, so how about another family favorite recipe, maybe with crawfish or shrimp?"
Troy leaned back in his chair and thought for a moment, then shared his delicious Crawfish Étouffée Stuffed Peppers recipe with me, step by step.
He finished giving the mouth-watering recipe and was just beginning to describe the proper way to cook a batch of yellowbelly turtles when the governor of Alabama appeared at our lunch table. Governor Robert Bentley shook Troy's hand and enjoyed speaking with the entire Landry family. They swapped stories for several minutes while I waited.
Since I have not yet gained rock star status, I excused myself.
But, after the governor left, Troy squeezed in time to answer a couple more of my questions.
Tim: "I noticed your étouffée recipe doesn't contain Cayenne pepper like most Cajun dishes."
Troy: "Nah, don' use too much hawt peppa. You don' wanna burn de kids mowths."
Tim: "I've never thought of eating crawfish fat. Is it good?"
Troy: "Oh yes! You get it from fresh crawfish dat hasn't been frozen. It adds flavah, and some of de old timers in Louisiana eat it every day for medicinal purposes, like fish oil. A teaspoon a day!"
The Landrys suddenly realized it was time for their next appearance, so they began to leave in a hurry, much to my disappointment. I'd have to try to get the rest of his yellowbelly recipe later that day.
But I was thankful for my brief interview with Troy, and I could have easily spent the entire afternoon talking about turtles, filé gumbo, gator tail jambalaya and listening to his thickly accented hunting tales.
Time had simply run out on my interview with this delightful man. But then, he did something that I will always remember, and I will certainly tell my grandchildren someday.
As he was being whisked out the door, the Cajun of all Cajuns paused, winked, pointed his finger at me and said, "Choot 'em!"
Editor's Note: Please visit the Landry family's website at: www.chootem.com