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- My First Taste Of Crawfish Étouffée
- What Are Crawfish And When Are They In Season?
- This Crawfish Étouffée Recipe Is Easy To Make!
- You Can Also Use Up Crawfish From Your Crawfish Boil!
- What Ingredients Will I Need To Make This Classic Cajun Dish?
- The Method To Make This Easy and Delicious Crawfish Étouffée
- Differences Between The Cajun And Creole Versions of Étouffée
- Some Variations To Try!
- Ca C'est Bon! Bon Appetit! (It Is Good! Enjoy Your Meal!)
- CRAWFISH IS ONE OF THE 1,000 FOODS TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE!
- Some Other Recipes You Will Enjoy!
- Easy and Delicious Crawfish Étouffée!
My First Taste Of Crawfish Étouffée
I was first introduced to this classic Louisiana dish when I visited the Tabasco 1868 Restaurant on Avery Island, in south Louisiana. The restaurant is named 1868 because that is the year that Tabasco was founded by Edmund McIlhenny.
After my first taste of this amazing dish I was IN LOVE. It really was to DIE for! I had never had crawfish before, and was intoxicated by this preparation which included an incredible buttery sauce seasoned with wonderful Cajun seasonings! It was such an amazing flavor combination!
By the way, étouffée is a French term which means "to smother" or "smothered."
What Are Crawfish And When Are They In Season?
A little bit about crawfish! Many people may know "crawfish" as crayfish. They are small, red, freshwater crustaceans that look like tiny lobsters. In Louisiana they are known as crawfish, or by the endearing name mudbug!
SouthernLiving.com tells us that although crawfish season can last from November to July, the best fresh crawfish are found from late February through May.
By the way, crawfish season overlaps with Lent and Easter. So, crawfish and the corresponding étouffée is the perfect Lenten meal!
This Crawfish Étouffée Recipe Is Easy To Make!
I had previously thought that such a rich and elegant dish would be difficult to make from scratch. However, I'm excited to share with you here a delicious and easy recipe for this dish!
This recipe will be one for your recipe box!
To make things easy, I use fully cooked and deveined crawfish meat, which comes largely from the tail. Only Louisiana crawfish tails will do! I highly recommend this crawfish from Acadia Crawfish Co which I buy from my local grocer. Hopefully your grocer has fully cooked crawfish tail meat, but if not, you can purchase from Acadia Crawfish Co's online shop.
You Can Also Use Up Crawfish From Your Crawfish Boil!
My delicious recipe calls for using frozen fully cooked and deveined crawfish meat. However, if you have leftover crawfish tails from a crawfish boil, using them in this étouffée would be a perfect way to enjoy them!
It would take a little more work to peel the crawfish shells yourself, but they would be absolutely delicious!
Now let me show you how to make this great example of Louisiana cooking!
What Ingredients Will I Need To Make This Classic Cajun Dish?
In addition to crawfish, you will need the following common ingredients to make this classic dish:
- Green bell pepper
- Chicken broth or chicken stock (you could also make your own crawfish stock, or use seafood stock if you wish!)
- Bay leaf
- Cloves garlic
- Tomato paste (or tomato sauce)
- Green onions (as garnish)
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne pepper (can sub or add some of your favorite Creole spice blend or Cajun seasoning)
- Your FAVE Tabasco hot sauce for an extra dash of heat!
By the way, the onion, celery, and green bell pepper are known as "The Holy Trinity" in Cajun and Creole cooking. 🙂
The Method To Make This Easy and Delicious Crawfish Étouffée
Start By Making The Roux
The hardest part of making this dish is making the roux. And making the roux is not hard. 😀 Roux is a an equal parts combination of flour and fat (in this case butter) which is cooked together and used to thicken sauces.
Roux can be white, blond, or brown in color. The longer you cook the roux, the darker it gets. For this recipe, we will cook the roux for about 3 minutes and our goal is to get a white roux. Our roux will primarily be used as a thickening agent for our dish.
First melt butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat. Then you will add the flour tablespoon by tablespoon, whisking all the while. I put that in BOLD because continuous whisking is super important to achieve your desired results!
Time For The Holy Trinity!
Now that you have a gorgeous white roux, let's bring on the Holy Trinity!
The next step is to add your diced Trinity (green bell pepper, onion, and celery) and bay leaf to the roux, and cook until this vegetable mixture is softened. Then add some garlic and tomato paste (or tomato sauce), and stir to incorporate.
The Final Remaining Steps!
It's now time to add some chicken broth or stock (can sub crawfish stock or seafood stock). Bring to the boil on medium-high heat, and then on a low heat we'll finally add the cooked crawfish at the end until it's warmed through. Then add a bit of extra butter. Extra melted butter always makes everything better and contributes to a delicious and rich gravy! Finish with seasonings to include salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. If you have a favorite Creole seasoning or Cajun seasoning then sprinkle some on now to taste!
Differences Between The Cajun And Creole Versions of Étouffée
There are a few differences between the Cajun version of Étouffée and the Creole version. Typically the Creole cuisine version uses butter and flour for the roux (as we do in this recipe). The Cajun cuisine version generally uses lard or animal fats for the roux. One other difference is that the Creole dish sometimes includes tomatoes. So, if you'd like to make this Étouffée more authentically Creole, then feel free to add in some tomatoes!
Some Variations To Try!
Some cooks like to include Cream of Mushroom soup in their dish! So feel free to sub 2x 10 oz cans of Cream of Mushroom soup for the chicken broth in this recipe. I myself will try the Cream of Mushroom soup next time I make this dish!
Also, you can try adding a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce at the end to increase the depth of flavor if you like!
Ca C'est Bon! Bon Appetit! (It Is Good! Enjoy Your Meal!)
Get ready to devour this creamy and delicious Crawfish Étouffée, served with some white rice or crusty French bread to soak up the flavorful sauce. Don't forget to add splashes of your favorite Tabasco! Green onions are the perfect garnish!
So easy! So delicious! Delight your family with this elegant meal soon! Bon Appetit! 😋
CRAWFISH IS ONE OF THE 1,000 FOODS TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE!
By the way, crawfish is one of the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die!
I am working my way through the foods that are listed in the book 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This is called my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project. Crawfish is listed in the American and Canadian section of the book, and this is food #62 in my project.
In this book, the author Mimi Sheraton lists her choice for the 1,000 Foods of the World that you MUST try. This Crawfish Étouffée recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy this awesome food!
Some Other Recipes You Will Enjoy!
If you'd like to come along on this food journey with me, please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It's an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here. 😃
Easy and Delicious Crawfish Étouffée!
- Large skillet or Dutch oven
- 6 tablespoon butter split (use 4 tablespoon for the roux, and 2 tablespoon extra added at the end of cooking)
- 4 tablespoon flour
- 12-16 oz crawfish tailmeat fully cooked
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 small green bell pepper diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 ts garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste can sub ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1.5-2 cups chicken broth or stock Start with 1.5 cups and add additional if needed to loosen up the Étouffée (you could also make your own crawfish stock, or use seafood stock if you wish!)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste ((can sub your favorite Creole seasoning or Cajun seasoning)
- green onions sliced/chopped as optional garnish
- Tabasco splash on your favorite Tabasco at the end!
- Place your skillet on your stove and turn it to med heat. Once hot, melt the butter. Then add the flour tablespoon by tablespoon, whisking the entire time. Continue to whisk for around 3 minutes, or until you get a nice white Roux.
- Now add the bay leaf, diced onion, celery, and green bell pepper. Stir and continue to cook until the vegetables are softened, around 6 minutes or so. It may take you a little less or more time, but cook until you see the onions are translucent and the vegetables are soft.
- Add the minced garlic and tomato paste. Stir to incorporate and continue to cook for around 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Now turn the heat up (medium high heat) and add the chicken broth. Start with 1.5 cups and add additional broth to loosen up the Étouffée if needed. Bring to the boil, and then turn the heat down and allow to simmer for a minute or so.
- Now add the cooked crawfish and remaining 2 tablespoon of butter. Melt the butter, then add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. If you have a favorite Creole seasoning or Cajun seasoning then sprinkle some on now to taste!
- The dish is now ready to serve!!