New Orleans Jazz Fest Anticipation: Making Crawfish Bread at Home

February 28, 2020

New Orleans Jazz Fest Anticipation: Making Crawfish Bread at Home


In the run-up to our Jazz Fest trips in late April and early May, we are building anticipation by looking back at past good times in New Orleans and sharing our travel tips. And also cooking some of our favorite Louisiana cuisine at home to get in the right mood – yum!

All Roads Led to Crawfish Bread

This time, we chose something totally new to our kitchen: crawfish bread. We’ve only ever had it on the grounds of Jazz Fest and haven’t ever seen it on the menu anywhere. Crawfish bread is one of those festival foods that draws people back, again and again. I wrote about the dilemma – how to choose??? – in the previous Jazz Fest Anticipation series.

Our Jazz Fest treks bring other delights, such as this jewel of a cookbook that was recommended to me by Phaedra at the Tabasco store during last year’s visit. It’s a wonderful collection of recipes that was gathered by the editors of the Times-Picayune to help replace their readers’ recipe collections that had been lost in Hurricane Katrina. It’s a special cookbook.

And that’s how we ended up with crawfish bread for dinner last weekend. We are in anticipation mode again – y’all know we love our Jazz Fest! – and looking to stoke up our NOLA daydreams via our tastebuds. Also, it was Mardi Gras weekend. I was thumbing through Cooking Up a Storm and found the recipe for Crawfish “Braid”, a version of crawfish bread that’s very attractive. Another recipe in the book, Jerry’s Crawfish Bread, looked good, too, but it used pre-made refrigerated French bread dough, and I wanted to do a from-scratch effort that would be reminiscent of the wonderfulness we experience at Jazz Fest.

Cooking Up a Storm noted that crawfish bread is beloved, and, consistent with our experience, hard to find other than at Jazz Fest. That’s why they published more than one recipe. It’s time to bring this fabulous dish into the mainstream!

Making the Crawfish Bread Braid

Here’s the process, and the result. It was good! I made some changes and additions and will create my own recipe to publish here in due time, but in the meantime, you should buy the book!

Plating Up

We were pleased with the results! Our meal that night was uber-NOLA: I also made an oyster-artichoke soup from Cooking Up a Storm (more to come on that!) and a salad with grilled shrimp.

Served with oyster-artichoke soup and shrimp salad – NOLA cuisine all the way!

The Grill-Meister’s plate was prettier because he didn’t crowd it with the soup bowl, so I snapped a pic. Don’t think for a minute that he stopped at one piece of crawfish bread, though!

I didn’t have time to get nice shots that night because we went right from baking to eating, as you can imagine, but I invited the crawfish bread that was left to a quick photo shoot by the pool the next night for the cover shot. Too bad I didn’t have any of the purple scallions left.

This recipe, with some Glover Gardens tweaks, is going into the permanent Glover Gardens rotation. We’ll probably have it again before Jazz Fest, and will share it with you here. Just doing our part to bring crawfish bread to the world. 😊


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