Crawfish bisque is a distinctive Creole luxury. It is prepared as follows:
Take about eight dozen fine, large Crawfish and wash thoroughly, being careful to cleanse of every particle of dust or sand. Set to boil in about a gallon of water. When boiled, take the Fish out of the water; save the water. Pick out two dozen of the largest Crawfish; pick out the inside of the tails and save the heads, cleaning them of every particle of meat. Set this meat to one side with the shells of the head. Pick the meat from the rest of the Crawfish, saving all the shells. Take one large onion, a carrot, a bunch of celery, a sprig of thyme, one bay leaf, three sprigs of parsley, six cloves and two blades of mace, one clove of garlic; chop all very fine and put into the pot of water in which the Crawfish were boiled. Add all the picked meat, except the reserved tails, and all the shells of the bodies and heads, except the reserved heads. Add one cup of rice and let it all boil till the mixture becomes thick and mushy. When it is well cooked, take it off the fire and mash the shells thoroughly, and the meat also, and strain all through a sieve. Take about a tablespoonful of butter and two quarts of oyster liquor and add this to the Soup, seasoning to taste with Cayenne, salt and black pepper. Set to boil slowly. In the meantime, take the reserved Crawfish meat and make a Stuffing as follows for the reserve heads:
Chop an onion very fine and let it brown in a tablespoonful of butter. Squeeze throroughly a cup of bread wet with water. When well squeezed, mix with a little milk, sufficient to make a paste, season to taste and mix with the well-seasoned Crawfish meat. Chop another onion and put in melted butter, and add the Crawfish Stuffing, letting all fry about ten minutes, adding, in the meantime, a finely chopped sprig each of thyme and parsley and a bay leaf, and mixing thoroughly. Take off the fire and stuff the reserved heads of Crawfish. Put on every stuffed head a dot of butter, set in the oven and bake ten minutes. Place stuffed heads in the tureen and pour the Soup over. Serve with Croutons of buttered toast, passing them in a separate dish.