Crawfish Butter

2 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup brandy or dry sherry (or 1/8 cup of each)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds butter, cut in small dice
butter for sautéing crawfish tails
1 pound crawfish tails (small rock shrimp or other shrimp may be substituted)

In a large saucepan combine shallots, wine, peppercorns, and brandy, and reduce until almost all liquid is absorbed or has evaporated. Add cream and reduce by half, then whisk in butter a little at a time. Strain sauce and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

In another saucepan lightly sauté crawfish tails until tender and opaque, less than 2 minutes. Add to brandy cream sauce.

Fingerling Potatoes, Fresh Corn, and Arugula

1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds fingerling potatoes or other small potatoes (purple potatoes are pretty)
1 cup yellow corn kernels
olive oil for sautéing
1 pound apple-smoked bacon, julienne cut
2 cups baby arugula, packed firmly

Bring a medium saucepan of water and salt to a boil. Slice potatoes crosswise about 1/8 inch thick and add to the water. Return to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Set aside.

Sauté corn in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, then add sliced potatoes and bacon. Just before the corn and potatoes are tender, approximately 10 minutes, add the arugula and lightly wilt. Set mixture aside and keep warm.


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (more if you like a less oily dressing)
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
salt to taste
1 pint teardrop or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

To make dressing, whisk extra-virgin olive oil into lime juice and tarragon. Season with salt. Toss with tomatoes. Keep cold until ready to serve.

Sea Bass

6 seven-ounce filets of sea bass or any fresh fish, such as salmon, swordfish, halibut, or red snapper
olive oil for sautéing
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce of your choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large sauté pan over high heat, sear fish in olive oil until lightly browned. Brush each filet with about 3 to 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce and roast in oven for 5 minutes. Baste with remaining sauce (do not turn) and continue roasting until a paring knife passes cleanly through the filet.

To serve, put warm potato-corn-arugula mixture in center of each plate and ladle crawfish butter around it, distributing the crawfish tails evenly. Put a fish filet on top of the potato mixture and scatter halved tomatoes attractively around plate. Serves 6.