John Paul Burns is the senior executive chef at downtown Alpharetta’s Carson Kitchen, which is housed in a replica of the old 1848 Milton County Courthouse.
John is a 20-year veteran of the food service industry, having worked at top restaurants across the country. He’s catered big events such as the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament and cooked for government dignitaries and touring musicians. He joined Carson Kitchen in January 2022.
He shares a recipe for crawfish tacos. It features crawfish marinated in hot sauce and buttermilk, then topped with a slaw that’s covered in aioli.
Carson Kitchen: Crawfish Tacos
Serves 4 (3 Tacos Each)
- 1.5 lb. Crawfish, cleaned
- Renders approximately 20 oz. of cooked crawfish meat
- 12 Flour tortillas, soft
- 16 oz. Buttermilk
- 16 oz Hot sauce (Texas Pete, Crystal, Louisiana, chef’s choice!)
- 2 qt. Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 32 oz. Rice flour
- 4 T Ranch seasoning (powder)
- 4 T Sriracha powder
- 4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Pepper
- 40 oz. Mayonnaise
- 8 tsp Garlic, chopped
- 4 T BBQ powder
- 4 oz. Tarragon vinegar
- 4 Blood oranges, juiced
- 4 tsp Tarragon, chopped
- 4 tsp Pepper
- 4 oz. Tasso
- 4 oz. Pepperoncini, sliced
- 6 oz Red cabbage, shredded
- 6 oz Green cabbage, shredded
- 16 oz. Aioli (recipe below)
Crawfish + Flour
- Clean crawfish prior to cooking. Place live crawfish in a cooler and cover with water, then drain 2-3 times. Discard debris and dead crawfish.
- Fill a 4-quart stock pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add crawfish and boil for 15 minutes. As soon as small gaps start to appear between the head and the tail on the largest crawfish, they are done. Turn off heat.
- While the crawfish is boiling and before it is cooled, begin preparing the flour, aioli and slaw mix.
- Pour buttermilk and hot sauce into a large bowl and mix together.
- In a separate bowl, combine components for the flour (rice flour, ranch seasoning, Sriracha powder, salt and pepper) and mix together.
- Peel crawfish.
- Take crawfish meat, place it in the buttermilk and hot sauce bowl to give it a full bath. Let it marinate in there for 1 hour before removing.
- Heat fryer oil to 350-375 degrees. If pan-frying, heat oil in a skillet to 350 degrees.
- Once marinated for 1-hour, remove from the liquid and dredge in the flour mix until fully covered.
- Take flour-covered crawfish meat and place in the fryer or skillet and fry until golden brown throughout. Place paper towels on a clean plate. Remove crawfish from oil once done and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Mix chopped garlic, chopped tarragon, BBQ powder, and pepper together.
- In a blender, add spice mix, mayonnaise, and blood orange juice.
- Blending at a low speed, stream in tarragon vinegar until totally incorporated and the result is a creamy consistency. Set aside.
- Cut tasso ham into thin strips, ¼” length.
- Cut cabbage head into quarters, then slice quarters into thin strips. Approximately ⅛”.
- Slice pepperoncini into ⅛” strips.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix cut ham, cabbage, and pepperoncini together with aioli until evenly coated.
- Heat up flour tortillas in a warm skillet.
- Remove from heat, and begin building the taco.
- Fill flour tortillas with approx. 5 oz. of crawfish.
- Add approx. 4 oz. of the slaw mix to each taco.
- Enjoy with your favorite beverage!
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