Elegant Crawfish Puffs

12 frozen puff pastry shells
3/4 cup butter
2 tbs. crawfish fat, if desired
1 tbs. tomato sauce
1/3 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
2/3 cup onions, chopped
1 tbs. garlic, minced
1 lb. crawfish tails, cleaned and deveined
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. finely ground red pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
dash finely ground black pepper
1-1/2 heaping tsp. cornstarch
1-1/3 cup water
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 cup processed cheese, grated
1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed
2 tbs. parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake pastry shells according to package directions and set aside. In deep heavy cooking pot, over medium-high heat, add butter and crawfish fat. Add tomato sauce, celery, bell peppers, onions and garlic, stirring frequently until tender.

Add seasoning. Cook about 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, add cornstarch and make a paste with a small amount of the water, gradually adding the remaining water. Add this water to the crawfish and continue cooking about five more minutes or until thickened. Add parsley, mix well, then remove from stove. Fill puffs equally with the crawfish filling. Top each puff with grated processed cheese. Top with crushed sliced almonds.

Return filled puffs to oven and bake for a few more minutes to melt cheese. Remove from oven and sprinkle a small amount of the fresh parsley over each puff. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana