“laissez les bon temps rouler … Cajun French for Let the good times roll.”
It’s funny how your tastes change as you get older. When I was a kid and even into my adulthood, I never really cared for baked spaghetti whether it was red sauce or white sauce with either chicken or ground beef. I had to eat it sometimes at church dinners but that didn’t mean I liked it … I was just being polite! Well, that’s now changed because I’ve been reintroduced to baked spaghetti and, after a few changes and enhancements, I’ve found a version that I really like.
Last month I had to prepare a large batch of baked chicken spaghetti for my wife’s gardening group and in the process I taste tested a few nibbles. It was actually pretty good but it got me to wondering what a similar recipe would taste like if I substituted two of my favorite shellfish varieties, namely shrimp and crawfish, for the standard chicken? The experiment only took two tries and all my ‘taste testers’ give this recipe a thumbs up!
Recipe notes … Unless you are really adventurous, forget about shelling your own crawfish; instead, buy a frozen package of Louisiana crawfish meat from your grocer. It is already shelled, cleaned and partially cooked. Remember, NEVER buy crawfish or any fish or meat product that comes from China! I buy frozen, wild-caught U.S.A. shrimp and then thaw, shell, and devein them myself; deveining is very important. Don’t shy away from using the Cajun seasoning, the red pepper flakes and garlic powder … they’ll add just enough (but not too much) heat to the dish to make you appreciate Cajun cooking. As a matter of fact, another Cajun seasoning you can utilize is concentrated, liquid, Shrimp & Crab Boil seasoning (I use Zatarain’s) … depending on your taste for heat, add 1/2 to a whole teaspoon to the stock pot of pasta water; it literally infuses the pasta with a rich, spicy, Cajun flavor.
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