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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Crawfish Versailles from Versailles

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Chef Gunter Preuss was one of the original chef’s at the First Chef’s Charity for Children. He has appeared every year until this year, when he has retired. His first restaurant was the Versailles on St. Charles Ave. When the Uptown restaurant boom of the 80’s started, it put a dent into the Versailles. In 1983, Gunter bought Broussard’s in the French Quarter. The Versailles closed in 1985. He retired last year, selling Broussard’s. This recipe was served to Pope John Paul II when he visited New Orleans in 1987.

2 tablespoons fresh Butter

2 tablespoons sliced Green Onions

1 tablespoon minced dry Shallots

2 tablespoons minced Garlic

1/2 cup White Wine

juice of 1/4 Lemon

1 3/4 cups medium Bechamel Sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh Dill (1 tablespoon dried)

1 1/2 pounds fresh boiled Crawfish tails

Salt to taste

pinch Cayenne Pepper

Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese

Sauté onions, garlic, and shallots in butter for 2 minutes without browning. Add white wine and lemon juice, reduce by one half. Add bechamel sauce and dill and reduce by another third. Add crawfish tails and simmer 10 minutes. Salt to taset and add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

To serve, put in ramekins or small sea shells, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is gloden. Garnish with a boiled crawfish and serve.

Bechamel Sauce

2 ½ tablespoons Butter

2 tablespoons All-purpose Flour

2 cups Milk

1 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use


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