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When most people think of beignets it’s the pillowy fried yeasted dough that’s more like a doughnut – but beignets are really any type of deep-fried pastry that includes choux pastry as well yeast doughs.
In San Francisco, we had crawfish beignets from Brenda’s French Soul Food. The pillow-soft dough is filled with cheese and crawfish then deep-fried and dusted with cayenne.
We have also had a different version from one of our local favorites, Ida Claire. They are what most people would consider a fritter (but technically that’s still fried dough so the beignet label fits). Both are different but equally delicious.
Our recipe for crawfish corn beignets (or fritters) is a version that we order from Ida Claire. Along with their mustard remoulade, they are a little labor intensive but completely worth it.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
There is a pretty lengthy list of ingredients; along with crawfish and corn, you will need some other common pantry staples for these crawfish corn beignets.
The complete ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.
- Crawfish: We used frozen crawfish meat that had been cleaned and peeled (it was all our local markets were carrying). Be sure they are completely thawed and pat them dry so that you are not adding more moisture to the batter, which could affect the final texture.
- Corn: We use frozen roasted corn kernels that we defrosted but regular canned corn could also work just fine. Make sure to rinse, drain, and let dry on a paper towel before using.
- Mustard Remoulade: Remoulade is a French invention that is similar to tartar sauce. This remoulade sauce has three different mustards – yellow, stone ground, and Dijon. In addition to mustard, it also has the traditional mayo and spices but also sweet relish and ketchup which gives it a little hint of sweet and sour.
- Black Pepper Gravy: Yes, it seems odd to have gravy in a beignet recipe. When we learned it was part of the recipe we had the same reaction… but it works! Jim is the gravy master in our home so we used his tried and true method but made it more pepper-forward. There are plenty of easy-to-make store-bought country gravy packets you can buy and use if you want to cheat a little, but make sure you add extra black pepper.
How to Make Crawfish Corn Beignets
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
Pro-tip: When frying the beignets use a bigger pan than you think you will need so your pan doesn’t get overcrowded.
1. Make the Mustard Remoulade: In a medium bowl combine all ingredients thoroughly, then refrigerate while preparing the gravy and beignets.
2. Make the Black Pepper Gravy: In a small saucepan or skillet melt butter over medium heat. Using a whisk, fully incorporate the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to simmer. We’re looking for a blonde roux, something the color of a field of wheat, which will deepen the flavor. Slowly drizzle in the milk while whisking to integrate.
Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to boil and thicken being careful not to scald the bottom. Once the gravy is at a consistency that is just a bit too thick to pour add the salt and pepper and remove it from the heat.
3. Make the Beignet Batter: Have all ingredients measured and ready as this process will go pretty quickly. In a medium bowl combine flour, smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Using a wooden spoon stir the flour mixture into the butter until the mixture gets thick and resembles a thick paste then stir in the black pepper gravy and roasted corn.
Once combined remove from heat and add the egg while rapidly stirring the mixture until it begins to pull away from the side of the saucepan. Finally, add crawfish and stir to combine.
4. Fry the Beignets: In a large skillet or Dutch oven heat oil to approximately 325-350 °F over medium-high heat. Oil should be about 2 inches deep. Working in batches (approximately 6 to 8 at a time), drop the beignet batter into the hot oil using a 2-tablespoon scoop (about the size of a medium ice cream scoop). Fry, turning frequently until deep golden brown for about 5-6 minutes then remove and drain on a paper towel.
5. Serve: Crawfish Corn Beignets are a great appetizer when served with our mustard remoulade.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- The remoulade is best when it has time to chill. It can be made up to a day in advance.
- To keep the temperature of the oil consistent fry the beignets in batches. Using cold oil will result in beignets that are oily and greasy. After frying place them on a paper towel-lined plate to help soak up any excess oil.
- Ensure the corn and crawfish have been patted dry to avoid adding more moisture to the batter.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can store any leftover cooked beignets in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an air-tight container.
The best way to reheat beignets is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place beignets on a cookie sheet. Heat them for about 5-7 minutes or until heated all the way through.
Crawfish tail meat can usually be found in major grocer’s freezer sections with the other seafood. If you can’t find it you can substitute crab meat or chopped-up shrimp. Be sure that it is cleaned, peeled, and dried before adding it to the batter.
Let’s Connect! If you make our Crawfish Corn Beignets with Mustard Remoulade or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, we recommend checking out some of these:
Crawfish Corn Beignets with Mustard Remoulade
- Medium-Sized Bowl
- Medium Skillet
- Medium Saucepan (2.5 Quarts)
- Large Pot or Dutch Oven
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup stoneground mustard
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoons sweet relish
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Tobasco
- ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ tablespoon cracked black pepper
Black Pepper Gravy
- ⅛ cup unsalted butter
- 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
Crawfish Corn Beignets
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup black pepper gravy
- ½ cup roasted corn
- 1 egg, beaten
- 8 ounces crawfish tailmeat, defrosted and patted dry
- 2-4 cups oil, for frying
- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients well then refrigerate until ready to be served with beignets.
Black Pepper Gravy
- In a small saucepan or skillet melt butter over medium heat.
- Using a whisk incorporate the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to simmer.
- Slowly drizzle in the milk continuously whisking until the mixture begins to boil and thicken being careful not to scald the bottom.
- Once the gravy has thickened remove it from the heat and add salt and pepper. Set aside.
Crawfish Corn Beignets
- In a medium bowl combine flour, smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Using a wooden spoon stir the flour mixture into the butter until the mixture gets thick and resembles a paste.
- Stir in black pepper gravy and roasted corn.
- Once everything is combined remove from heat and add the egg while rapidly stirring the mixture until it begins to pull away from the side of the saucepan.
- Add crawfish and stir to combine.
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven heat oil to approximately 325-350 °F over medium-high heat. Oil should be about 2 inches deep.
- Working in batches, drop the beignet batter using a 2-tablespoon scoop (about the size of a medium ice cream scoop) into the hot oil. Fry, turning frequently until deep golden brown for about 5-6 minutes then remove and drain on a paper towel.
- Serve with a side of mustard remoulade for dipping.