This over-the-top presentation of spicy crawfish dip surrounded by crusty French bread rolls all baked together in a cast-iron skillet is a rock star appetizer. The piping hot rolls, buttered and sprinkled with Parmesan, are ablaze with spicy flavor when topped with the creamy crawfish dip. This dish is sure to impress.
I stumbled on this combination when I was experimenting with my idea for an easy boudin king cake last year. I’ve bought pastry dough in the freezer case for years, and there is no end to the recipes I can make with a package of puff pastry or fillo dough. But, the convenience of refrigerated cans of French bread dough (crescent rolls, too) sparked my culinary creativity in unique ways.
Baking off roll-size portions of dough in a skillet leaves an empty hole to fill with whatever strikes your flavor fancy. And in my case, that just has to be crawfish. Louisiana crawfish tail meat sold in 1-pound packages is the base for my sherry-spiked and cream-infused dip. With sautéed aromatics along with chopped mushrooms, this dip has a rich flavor profile.
Bring this recipe out at your next party or on game-day with friends. No matter the occasion, it’s a tasty way to celebrate.
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup chopped mushrooms
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- ½ cup dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 pound Louisiana crawfish tail meat
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Dash of hot sauce
- Flour, for dusting
- 2 (11-ounce) cans refrigerated French bread dough, such as Pillsbury
- ½ stick unsalted butter, melted
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, bell peppers, celery, and mushrooms, and sauté until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Cajun seasoning, and lower the heat to simmer, and stir to combine. Add the sherry and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sour cream and cream cheese and stir until the cheese melts and thickens. Add the cream and continue stirring until the consistency of a dip.
- Add the crawfish tail meat; stir the mixture to combine. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Add the cayenne, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Keep warm for serving.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Sprinkle flour over a cutting board and remove the bread dough from the packages. Cut the rolled dough into 12 to 14 equal segments of about 2 ½ inches. Roll on the cutting board with the palm of your hand until shaped into balls.
- In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet coated with non-stick spray, add the dough balls along the perimeter of the skillet leaving a circular space in the middle. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and place in the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with butter and sprinkle with salt and Parmesan cheese.
- For serving, pour the hot crawfish dip into the hole in the middle of the French bread skillet. Serve family style in the middle of the table and invite your guests to pull apart the bread and dip it into the hot dip. Be sure to have plenty of napkins.
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