I know many of you will agree that nothing goes better with a thick, juicy steak than a baked potato. I’ve been to the fanciest steakhouses in all the land and when it comes to the perfect side dish, I’ll order a baked potato–loaded, for sure–every time. Oh, I’ve tried the creamed spinach, the frou-frou hollandaise-drenched asparagus, and even the wine-infused mushroom mélange, but you can have ‘em all. Give me a perfectly baked jacket potato and I’m set. Or better yet, the ultimate Crawfish Baked Potato.
But c’mon, let’s face it, the plain and simple baked potato isn’t exactly a gourmet dish. In most homes, it’s usually a microwaved afterthought for a cheap meal in a hurry. Even on most restaurant menus, the baked potato is almost always relegated to the bottom of the back page just below steamed broccoli. But I challenge the premise that a baked potato can’t stand on its own and take center stage. All it needs is a bit of creativity–Cajun creativity.
So, here’s the thing–baked potato artistry is not as simple as it appears. Do it right and it is sublime. Skip a few steps and you fall short. Just find the perfect russet potato, scrub it, oil it, poke it, wrap it, and bake it in a hot oven. Pretty straightforward, huh? Well, my Cajun recipe version takes this basic recipe and twice-bakes it for fluffier interior and crisper skin. Oh, and one more thing–crawfish.
Now, you know this Louisiana boy is gonna up the flavor on a simple baked potato. Oh yeah. Down on the bayou, we have a take on the term “loaded” that sends this simple spud soaring into the high heavens. Crawfish is that singular Cajun recipe ingredient that defines good Cajun cooking and when baked inside a creamy, cheesy potato it’s time to lock and load. With this Crawfish Baked Potato recipe, I combine the interior of the potato with butter, cheese and the rich fat of plump Louisiana crawfish tails, and it’s all stuffed and twice baked inside a hulled out potato. A crawfish baked potato is one savory, saucy side dish.
No half-baked idea here. Give this twice-baked Cajun recipe for Crawfish Baked Potato a try and you’ll never look at a baked potato the same way again.
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup diced yellow onions
- ½ cup diced celery
- 2 tablespoons diced green onion tops
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- Dash of hot sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound Louisiana crawfish tails
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Wash and dry the potatoes. Using a fork, poke a few holes in each side to allow moisture to escape during cooking. Coat the potatoes with olive oil and slice in half vertically. Keep the two halves together and wrap the pre-sliced potato in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven until completely tender, about 1 hour. Unwrap and scoop out the inside flesh of the potato without breaking through the outer skin. Chop the scooped-out flesh of the potato into small pieces. Keep warm.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter. Add the onions, celery, and green onion tops and cook until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, seasoning, and hot sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the crawfish tails along with the potato flesh that was scooped out earlier. Mix thoroughly to combine and add the cheese and sour cream. Mix together. Stuff the crawfish mixture back into the potato shells and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the tops begin to brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with a salad as an entrée or as a side dish with a perfectly grilled steak.
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