When I cover the Porter-Leath Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, I don’t want to sit on a railroad track while I pull crawfish apart and suck the heads and bite the tails. Nothing wrong with that. It’s fun. Unless you’re working. I don’t want to go up to people all afternoon smelling like mudbugs while I’m sticking my phone camera in their faces.
So, I was delighted to discover Alex Grisanti’s crawfish pizza at his 9-Dough-1 food truck. I could just take a slice and eat it. The crawfish tails already were out of their shells and ready to be consumed.
The crawfish pizza now is available at his food truck, but Grisanti, who manned 9 Dough 1 with his wife, Kim, and Igor Kobas, says he created the crawfish pizza for the Rajun Cajun festival. “'Cause of the crawfish theme, of course,” Grisanti says.
Fran Carpenter with Main Events, which produces the event, suggested he do a crawfish pizza. “I started twiddling around with the plan and that’s what I came up with.
“I kind of wanted it to have an etouffee taste and feel to it. So, that’s the flavor. I did a butter base on it, sort of a pizza sauce base, mozzarella cheese, and then I did a roasted corn-tomato-onion chutney on there. And then I had the remoulade sauce on it.”
And crawfish tails, of course.
Grisanti went through 150 pounds of crawfish tails during the festival.
What makes it so great is “the sweetness of the corn with the spicy crawfish flavor,” he says.
“It’s like a real crawfish boil. That’s what I was trying to replicate.”
So, instead of dumping crawfish, potatoes and corn on a newspaper, the crawfish, corn, and other toppings are poured on Grisanti’s home-made pizza crust, which includes Budweiser (heavy, not light) as an ingredient.
Originally, the crawfish pizza was going to be a one-shot deal for the festival until, Grisanti says, “I tried it out on a couple of people a couple of days and they were going crazy over it.”
His mudbug pizza will be available this summer, he says. “I can do it all year ‘round, but in summertime people think of crawfish and shrimp boils and barbecue.”
Grisanti’s crawfish pizza is “a little play on summertime.”
Rob Hughes, Porter-Leath vice-president of development, says, “It’s kind of like barbecue pizza over at Coletta’s. Out-of-towners won't get it, but once you try it, you’re hooked.”