|Crawfish, simmered in a very simple butter roux, seasoned with a basic trinity, garlic, stock and Cajun seasoning, and finished with a little fresh parsley and green onion. Serve over hot rice with fresh French bread for dipping.|
Crawfish EtoufféeThere are so many schools of thought on how to prepare a proper crawfish etouffée. Some say with a roux, others think not. Some add tomatoes, others say there is no place for tomatoes in it. Some use the Trinity, others only part of it. One thing I think that we all can agree on is that it should be uncomplicated.
For a seafood etouffée, crawfish is traditional, although shrimp can be substituted. It is a totally different taste experience from crawfish, however, since the fat from the crawfish do contribute both a distinct flavor and a bit of color. I would suggest giving it a taste after you've added the shrimp and maybe bump up the seasonings a bit. Maybe even add a bit of Old Bay, or just a dab of tomato paste also.
Etouffée is also always best made with freshly boiled crawfish of course, but peak crawfish season is rather short-lived, and generally they are consumed at big boils, so rarely are there any leftover. Even for our access to them, crawfish etouffée is often made with frozen crawfish tails, rather than fresh. That's perfectly acceptable, however, avoid the imports. They are frankly pretty bad and don't do justice to a good etouffée. You just can't beat the taste of Louisiana tails, so you should always look for this seal on a package of frozen crawfish when possible.
If you are forced to use imports, try the tip at the bottom of the recipe. It won't be like quality Louisiana crawfish, but it may help.
I start my etouffée with a very simple light colored roux, using a 1:1 ratio of flour to oil, or in my case, butter.
Add in the basic trinity and a little garlic.
Cook and stir that until the veggies are tender and then add a good stock, seafood stock if I have it in the freezer, chicken broth or even just plain water, if I don't.
Work the stock in a little at a time until it's nicely incorporated, then add Cajun seasoning, a little salt and pepper, and give it a quick 15 minute simmer.
Add in the crawfish tails and the fat from the package, taste, adjust seasonings, and finish with a little parsley and green onion.
Cook and stir that until the crawfish are heated through. Fill a bowl, add a scoop of rice, some fresh French bread and a side salad.
Recipe: Crawfish Etouffée©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 servings
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup of chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 cups seafood or chicken stock/broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
- 1 pound of crawfish tails, with fat
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup sliced green onion, plus extra for garnish
- Hot, cooked rice
- French bread
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the flour; cook and stir for about 4 minutes or until caramel colored. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; cook another 3-4 minutes or until tender, add the garlic and cook another minute. Slowly stir in the stock or broth until fully incorporated. Add the salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a medium low simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the crawfish tails, cook and stir until crawfish is heated through; stir in the parsley and green onion, reserving a bit for garnish. Serve immediately over hot, cooked rice with fresh French bread and a side salad.
~Cook's Notes~Note:For a seafood etouffée, crawfish is traditional, though shrimp can be substituted. It is a totally different taste experience however, so you may need some additional seasonings. Taste and adjust.
Frozen Crawfish Tip: Use freshly boiled, or Certified Cajun Louisiana frozen crawfish whenever possible, however, if you do have to use an imported brand, or to simply freshen frozen crawfish, place the thawed crawfish in a small container. Whisk 1 to 3 tablespoons of liquid crab boil (depending on heat level desired) with about 1-1/2 cups of ice cold water (or enough to cover the crawfish) and pour over the crawfish. Soak, covered, in the fridge for about an hour. This will add definite spiciness to the finished dish, so you'll want to eliminate or significantly reduce any cayenne, or other Cajun or Creole seasoning you would normally add.
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