You can enjoy this regional appetizer even if you live far from the bayou: One-pound packages of frozen cooked crawfish tails are now available at specialty food shops and some supermarkets.
Fast Hors d'Oeuvres
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced light green leek
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound thawed crawfish tails with their juices
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded dill pickle
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
8 thin slices brioche loaf, crusts removed, slices halved to form triangles
2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
Basil sprigs, for garnish
How to Make It
Melt the butter in a medium sauce-pan. Add the leek and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crawfish tails with their juices and the bell pepper and season with salt. Cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until chilled, about 1/2 hour.
In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the celery, red onion, pickle, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and celery salt. Stir in the crawfish and season with salt and cayenne. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Toast the brioche. Top each triangle with 1 tablespoon of the crawfish salad, garnish with some of the chopped tomato and a basil sprig and serve.
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