Sauce Piquante

(courtesy of David Haggard, owner, Sacks Crawfish in Reno. Serves 6)

1 pound peeled crawfish tail meat

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon ground paprika

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon ground thyme

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1, 8-ounce can tomato paste

1, 16-ounce can tomato sauce

1, 10-ounce can RO-TEL Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies

½ cup butter

½ cup flour

1 bag vegetable medley (or, alternatively, use 1 onion, chopped, plus 1 bell pepper, chopped)

In 5-quart skillet or pot, sauté vegetables with a little butter to keep from sticking. Once vegetables are translucent, add ½ cup butter and melt thoroughly to begin making roux. Add flour and stir constantly at medium heat until you achieve a medium to dark-brown color. When roux is done, add tomato paste, sauce, and RO-TEL, continuing to stir and lowering heat as needed. Add all seasonings. At this point, either add water to thin or continue to cook to thicken sauce. Once desired consistency is achieved, add cooked crawfish meat.

This dish also can be prepared with shrimp, fish, chicken, goose, duck, beef, pork, rabbit, venison, elk, or other meat. Traditionally, it’s served with rice, but it can be thinned and eaten as a stew or soup, or served with sweet cornbread or over pasta.

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