Oscar Montesinos, Chef de Cuisine
The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
1401 S Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant is celebrating Mardi Gras on Tuesday, March 1 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with an evening of Louisiana-style eats and beats. Guests may indulge in a special Fat Tuesday menu that brings to life all the flavor and fun of New Orleans while enjoying live music from High-Hat Second Line, a New Orleans brass and jazz band with a Chicago twist. The Cajun-inspired menu will feature classic favorites including Crawfish Mac & Cheese, Cajun Fried Chicken Jambalaya, Shrimp Po’Boy, Creole Seafood Gumbo, and more.
Crawfish Mac & Cheese
1 lb Cavatappi Pasta
2 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Heavy Cream
8 oz (1 cup) Shredded Sharp Yellow Cheddar
2.5 oz (5T) Shredded Gruyere Cheese
2 oz (1/4 cup) Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 oz (1/4 cup) Crumbled Blue Cheese (such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort)
2 Tablespoons Cheddar Cheese Powder
1.5 oz (3T) All Purpose Flour
1.5 oz (3T) Unsalted Butter
2 lbs Louisiana Crawfish Tails
-Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Salt it generously. Add the cavatappi pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes until pasta is tender but not overcooked.
-Heat a Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and stir until it turns a deep blonde color and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream. Cook, stirring frequently. When it starts to thicken continue cooking on a simmer for 2-3 minutes.
-At this point the cavatappi should be ready. Drain it in a colander but do not rinse.
-Turn the heat on the sauce down to low and stir in all the cheeses until they are all melted. Add the (pre-cooked) crawfish tails and then fold in the cavatappi.
-Remove from heat and serve!