Crawfish Boil Potato Salad Recipe
In the words of Bob Ross, “We don't make mistakes—we have happy accidents.”
Bananas Foster is our family's "happy accident." Our legendary Bananas Foster was based on the simply sautéed bananas my grandmother, Nellie Valentine Brennan, would prepare for her husband and six children - which was a family favorite at many meals. After World War II, New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Serendipitously, my Uncle John married into a fruit importing business and his father-in-law often delivered ripe bananas he couldn’t sell to Brennan’s Vieux Carré, a startup restaurant a few blocks away that was owned by our family. Soon the restaurant’s banana cup runneth over. When a show-stopper dessert was needed at the restaurant, several Brennan family members and Chef Paul Blangé collaborated on a new dessert, beginning with my grandmother’s sauteed bananas and it evolved from there. This now renowned dessert honored my Uncle Owen’s good friend Richard Foster, who was a frequent customer and served on the board with my uncle for the New Orleans Crime Commission, a civic effort to clean up the French Quarter in the 1950s.
Remember this cardinal rule: NEVER pour liquor straight from the bottle into a hot pan. Refrain from even leaning towards the pan, so you are protected from any flame. While the rum is lit, we sprinkle ground cinnamon from a small salt shaker directly into the flame. The spice produces a Fourth of July sparks effect that is pure food magic! If you want more cinnamon, adjust to taste after the flames subside.
Speaking of holidays, during December, splurge on butter pecan ice cream to further add to the festive spirit of the season.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons light or dark rum, divided
4 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced lengthwise, and halved again into quarters
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
In a flat sauté pan or medium skillet, add butter, sugar and 2 tablespoons of rum; cook over medium-high heat while stirring to melt. Add bananas; use a fork to lightly prick bananas while cooking. Sauté for about 1 minute, or until bananas start to soften. Carefully tilt the pan towards you to get the top half of the pan hot, then remove the pan from heat. Pour remaining 1/4 cup rum over bananas. To flambé bananas, carefully ignite rum by either tilting pan towards the flame on the range or cautiously lighting it with a long taper match. Gently shake the flaming pan with one hand and sprinkle cinnamon over the flame with the other hand. This makes the cinnamon sparkle and glow. When the flames die out, immediately spoon bananas and sauce over the ice cream.
Brennan's Brandy Milk Punch
In the Brennan family, there have long been controversies over bourbon vs. brandy in milk punch. Which one you drank depended on which family home you found yourself in on Christmas morning. We make our milk punch with brandy.
2 ounces of brandy
1/4 ounce vanilla extract
4 ounces half and half
1 ounce simple syrup
nutmeg for garnish
Combine brandy, half and half, simple syrup, and vanilla in a cocktail shaker ﬁlled with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled old fashioned glass. Garnish with nutmeg.
Crawfish Potato Salad
It’s one way to use up all those tasty leftovers from the crawfish boil.
1 lb. or about 2 cups peeled crawfish tail meat
1 ½ lbs. new potatoes, boiled until tender or left over from your crawfish boil
8 oz. Andouille Sausage – 1/4” sliced into quarter rounds
2 cobs of corn, cooked and sliced off the cob
½ cup yellow onion, small diced
½ cup celery, small diced
1 head garlic, used from the boil, squeezed out and smashed
2 boiled eggs, small diced
2 green onions or chives, slice the tops thin to garnish
1 ½ cups Brennan’s Comeback Sauce (recipe below)
- Peel crawfish tail meat leftover from your crawfish boil or use method below to cook store-bought crawfish tail meat.
- Smash your leftover potatoes. Place them on an oiled sheet pan and roast in the oven until nice and brown in color. This helps dry out the potatoes. When they are about half roasted, add diced sausage and continue roasting the potatoes. Remove from oven, cool to close to room temperature and place in a large bowl that you will use to assemble your potato salad.
- Add the corn, onion, celery, garlic, and eggs to the potatoes and sausage. Mix just to incorporate the ingredients.
- Add in about 1 ½ cups of Comeback Sauce to the potato mixture (add more sauce if you like creamier potato salad). Season with salt and pepper and garnish with snipped chives or sliced green onion tops.
Chef Notes: If you haven’t done a crawfish boil and want to make the salad, fill a large pot with 3 quarts water and add 1 Tbsp salt, 3 Tbsp creole seasoning, 3 bay leaves, 1 lemon (cut in half), 1 head of fresh garlic (cut in half), 1 Tbsp Zatarain’s Liquid Crab Boil Season. Bring these ingredients to a boil and add potatoes, sausage, and corn. When the potatoes are tender, remove the potatoes, sausage, garlic and corn from the boil. Drain and let cool. Then, drop your crawfish tail meat into the crawfish boil liquid, bring to a quick simmer, and remove. I use this for a quick boil to make potato salad if I didn’t have leftovers or haven’t done a recent seafood boil. It’s not the recipe that I would use to boil live crawfish and crabs – that’s going to have much more of everything, especially seasoning!
Brennan’s of Houston Comeback Sauce
2 cups mayonnaise (Dukes or Hellmann’s)
4 Tbsp creole mustard
4 Tbsp Cajun Power Garlic Sauce or your favorite garlic hot sauce
5 Tbsp cocktail sauce
2 tsp Lea & Perrins or other Worcestershire sauce
½ fresh squeezed lemon
2 Tbsp snipped chives or thinly sliced green onion tops
Salt and Pepper
Easy! Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and use as a sauce or dip.