Man, oh, man, I was in heaven when I made these. These little gems were perhaps THE best low-carb kitchen creation of my now 6+ years of low-carbing! I’m even going to give this recipe my “mouthgasm” award. I took my Gluten-Free Grain Free Focaccia Bread recipe and with some considerable effort, used it as a crust to create crawfish pies to rival any I have eaten in Louisiana. I wantonly admit to scarfing down a lot of them in my time there. It’s one of my favorite Cajun foods when we visit Louisiana. My filling consisted of basically my crawfish étouffée recipe, a little thickener and my focaccia bread for the crust. I knew as this idea was germinating in my head this afternoon that sealing the edges would be tricky and take some ingenuity, as I would be using a thick batter, not a traditional, rollable pie crust. And IT WORKED for me! Best of all, the bread dough ended up tasting amazingly like, ummmm…………real PIE CRUST!!! Even my fussy, non-low-carbing husband said it tasted like piecrust and gave tonight’s dinner two thumbs up! The ratio of filling to crust was just perfect on these, too!
I have even made this recipe up as mini crawfish pies (makes 30), but use my Carbalose Pie Crust as it rolls nicer than this crust. Here’s what the mini version looks like:
I can’t tell you how pleased I am with this recipe and thought you’d enjoy listening to the song that made this Louisiana Cajun delicacy famous to put you in the mood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnKOVPXhlnE. I can even see berry/fruit empanadas on the horizon! These pies are suitable once you reach Phase 2 nuts & seeds rung of the Atkins OWL carb ladder. They would not be suitable for Paleo-Primal due to the dairy in the bread. By the way, I started preparing this meal at 4pm and we were eating it at 5:30! Longer than most of my recipes, but much faster than I thought it would take to prepare! This recipe boasts some pretty impressive nutritional stats below as well!
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4 T. butter
2 oz. onion, chopped
½ c. each green bell pepper and celery, chopped (I used both red and green bell pepper in mine)
¼ c. each green onion and parsley , chopped
6 oz. crawfish tails (I use the frozen and defrost)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. my Seafood Spice blend
1/8 tsp. salt
6 drops Tobasco or other hot sauce
Dash each ground thyme and black pepper
1/3 c. chicken stock (preferably homemade)
¼ tsp. glucomannan powder, xanthan gum or your favorite thickener
1 recipe my Gluten-free Grain-free Focaccia Bread
DIRECTIONS: Melt butter in skillet over high heat. Add celery, green pepper and onion. Add Seafood Spice Blend, salt, pepper and thyme. Saute until vegetables are completely tender. Add Tobasco. Add green onion, parsley, garlic and crawfish and stir. Add glucomannan powder (or your chosen thickener) and chicken stock and stir to blend altogether. Turn fire off.
Preheat oven to 350º. Make the bread/”pastry” in a medium mixing bowl according to the directions for that recipe. You need to decide on the shape you want your pies to have (I used a 3 x 6″ oval dish shape, but round or square would work as well) . I cut parchment paper to fit a large sheet pan. I inverted my dish on the parchment paper and drew five outlines of the dish with a marker pen, so I could be sure my pies would all be uniform in size and shape. When the batter is ready, scoop up exactly 3 T. onto each drawn outline on your parchment. Then, using a fork, very gently spread the batter out thinly to within ¼” of the outlines you drew (you don’t want the batter to touch the ink). It will be thin, but should go nearly to the edges with effort. Pop the pan into your 350º oven and bake just 10 minutes. Remove from oven and increase oven temp to 375º.
Using a spoon, section off the seafood filling in your skillet into 5 equal portions and spoon 1/5 of the filling onto each of the baked bottom “crusts”. Spread the filling evenly to within ¼” of the edge of the bottom crust. The filling should be slightly mounded in the center. Again using a spoon, make 5 equal portions of the remaining batter in your bowl. Here’s where it gets a little tricky. I spooned one of the marked off portions of batter into one hand and using my fork, dotted the batter evenly over the top and sides of the pile of seafood filling, using the fork then to try to blend those tiny dots into a contiguous top “crust”. It didn’t cover perfectly, but I was able to create a respectable top crust on each pie. During the baking the top crust slightly spreads out to fill in most of those little gaps in the batter.
Pop the pan into a now 375º oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Serve at once with a nice green salad or perhaps your favorite green veggie. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 5 large hand pies, each contains:
30.5 g fat
8.62 g carbs, 3.64 g fiber, 4.98 g NET CARBS
24.6 g protein
471 mg sodium
Makes about 30 mini crawfish pies for appetizers, with approximately 1.0 net carb per pie (no top crust used)