Southern-Style Cioppino

2015 Chef to Watch David Dickensauge of Baton Rouge’s Bin 77 puts a Bayou State spin on this Southern-Style Cioppino.

Southern-Style Cioppino
Serves 4
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  1. 4 (6-ounce) skin-on snapper fillets
  2. ½ teaspoon salt
  3. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  4. ½ teaspoon blackening seasoning
  5. 3/4 cup Crawfish Butter (recipe follows)
  6. ½ fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  7. 1 pound white onions, diced
  8. 8 garlic cloves, minced
  9. 6 cups white wine
  10. Smoked Saffron Tomato Brodo (recipe follows)
  11. 12 fresh clams
  12. 4 fresh mussels
  13. 8 fingerling potatoes, halved
  14. 12 whole crawfish
  15. 8 extra-colossal fresh shrimp, deveined, heads and tails left on
  16. 8 blue crab claws
  17. Squid Ink and Crawfish Pasta (recipe at
  18. Garnish: microgreens, corn shoots, toasted baguette slices topped with Saffron Rouille (recipe follows)
  1. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Season snapper with salt, pepper, and blackening seasoning, and sear until skin is crispy.
  2. In a large saucepan, add Crawfish Butter, and heat over medium-low heat. Add fennel, onion, and garlic, and cook until tender. Add white wine, and cook until thickened.
  3. Add Smoked Saffron Tomato Brodo, clams, mussels, and potatoes. Cook until mussels and clams open; add crawfish and shrimp. Add Squid Ink and Crawfish Pasta, and cook 
2 minutes or until al dente.
  4. Divide pasta among serving dishes, and top with seafood. Garnish with microgreens, corn shoots, and toasted baguette slices.
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Squid Ink and Crawfish Pasta
Serves 6
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  1. ¼ cup Crawfish Butter (recipe follows)
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 2 large egg yolks
  4. 2 tablespoons squid ink
  5. 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together crawfish butter, eggs, egg yolks, and squid ink until smooth. Mound flour on a work surface, and make a deep, wide well in the center. Pour egg mixture into well. Using a fork, incorporate flour a little bit at a time, from the inside of the well outwards. When a lumpy dough starts to form, continue incorporating flour with your fingertips.
  2. Knead dough 10 minutes or until most of the flour has been incorporated and dough is smooth and firm. There will be some flour left over. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut dough into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time (keeping remaining dough well covered), flatten dough to ½-inch thick, then roll through pasta roller on its widest setting. Fold dough in thirds, and roll again. If the dough feels sticky, lightly dust with flour. Repeat until a clean, smooth dough forms. Roll dough through each thickness setting, progressing from widest setting stopping just one setting short of the narrowest.
  4. Cut pasta sheet into roughly 10-inch pieces. Working with one at a time, dust each sheet with flour, and fold it onto itself a couple of times to make a small stack; cut into ¼-inch ribbons. Toss ribbons with flour to prevent sticking, and place on a baking sheet covered with a damp cloth. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. If not using immediately, spread floured pasta out onto 2 baking sheets; wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
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Crawfish Butter
Serves 4
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  1. 6 tablespoons butter
  2. Liquid from 2 (1-pound) packages cooked crawfish tails
  1. In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter. Add the liquid from 2 packages cooked crawfish tails, and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
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Smoked Saffron Tomato Brodo
Serves 4
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  1. Apple wood chips, soaked in water 30 minutes*
  2. 6 large tomatoes
  3. 3 roasted red bell peppers
  4. 2 shallots, chopped
  5. 1 (12-ounce) can chipotle in adobo sauce, puréed
  6. 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
  7. 6 cloves garlic
  8. 1 pinch saffron threads
  9. 4 (1-ounce) containers fresh basil, stems removed
  10. 4 (1-ounce) containers fresh thyme, stems removed
  11. 1½ teaspoons salt
  12. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Preheat smoker to 200°. Sprinkle wood chips over coals. Place tomatoes on smoker rack. Cover with smoker lid, and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 425°.
  3. In a large roasting pan, combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients; roast 20 minutes. To the container of a blender, add roasted vegetables, and process until smooth.
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Saffron Rouille
Serves 4
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  1. ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  2. 2 tablespoons boiling water
  3. 1 clove garlic, chopped
  4. ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  5. ½ cup torn white bread, crust removed
  6. 1 large pasteurized egg yolk, room temperature
  7. ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  8. 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
  9. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, add saffron and 2 tablespoons boiling water; let stand 15 minutes.
  2. On a cutting board, combine garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and mash into a paste with the flat side of a knife. Add garlic mixture and bread to saffron water. Press bread to absorb liquid.
  3. To the container of a blender, add bread mixture, yolk, and remaining 
¼ teaspoon salt; pulse to combine. With the motor running, slowly add oil until smooth. Add paprika and cayenne, and season to taste with additional salt.
Louisiana Cookin


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