Willie Coln was another chef featured the the series The Great Chefs of New Orleans. He was the executive chef of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. In the summer of 1976, he left to open his German restaurant on the West Bank in Gretna ( in a building owned by Warren Leruth). Not only did he offer German food, his sous chef Cecil Palmer cooked Caribbean dishes. After the oil bust of the early 1980’s, he sold his business and went to work for the Inter-Continental Hotel, where he developed this dish.
2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon chopped French Shallots
1 teaspoon chopped Garlic
1 tablespoon chopped Green Onions
1 pound Crawfish Tails
1 oz Brandy
2 tablespoons peeled, seeded and chopped Fresh Tomato
½ cup Crawfish Stock
2/3 cup Whipping Cream
¼ teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne
4 sheets Puff Pastry Dough, 3-inch square
1 Egg Yolk, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet until it bubbles. Sauté the shallots, garlic, and green onions until limp. Add the crawfish tails and sauté until heated through. Carefully pour the brandy over the skillet contents and touch a flame to it. When the flames die down, stir in the tomato and the crawfish stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the whipping cream, salt, and cayenne and heat through (but do not boil). Adjust seasonings and remove from heat. Spoon into small ramekins. Top each ramekin with a piece of the puff pastry. Push it down around the sides to form a cap. Brush pastry with egg and bake until the top browns lightly.