Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crawfish Etouffee

The old Cajun way of making etouffee!  

     Crawfish Etouffee is a famous Louisiana recipe.  Etouffee basically translates to smothered or smothered with sauce.  Etouffee is always served with rice.  Some modern etouffee recipes add tomato to the ingredients and do not require a red brown roux.  My recipe is traditional Cajun, so it is made with a red brown roux and no tomatoes.  All of the ingredients must be prepared ahead of time, before starting the roux.  Adding the ingredients to the hot roux will keep the roux from cooking any further.
     Crawfish Etoufee Recipe:
     This recipe makes one large portion!  Sometime during when the etouffee is simmering, cook 1 portion of plain long grain white rice and keep the rice warm.
     Shell about 35 poached crawfish tails.  (Try to retain the yellow orange colored crawfish fat!)
     Reserve 1 whole crawfish to use as a garnish later in the recipe.
     Set the crawfish tails and crawfish fat aside. 
     Finely dice these vegetables:
     - 2/3 cup of onion.
     - 1/3 cup of mixed green bell pepper and red bell pepper.
     - 1/3 cup of celery.
     - 2 green onions.
     Place the diced vegetables into a bowl. 
     Add 2 minced garlic cloves.
     Add 1 minced small shallot.
     Heat 2 ounces of unsalted butter in a sauce pot over medium/medium high heat.
     Add an equal amount of flour to the butter, while constantly stirring with a whisk.
     Stir with a whisk constantly, till the roux cooks to a red brown color.
     Note:  If the roux becomes burnt and there are black specks, then the roux must be discarded and a new red brown roux must be started.  Stirring is important.  Be careful not to splash the hot roux!
     When the roux becomes a red brown color, immediately add all of the chopped vegetables and stir.  The hot roux will instantly cook the vegetables and garlic in just a few seconds.
     Add the crawfish tails and crawfish fat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 cup of dry white wine.
     Add 1 1/2 cups of shrimp stock.
     Stir the etouffee.
     The etouffee should be a very thin consistency at this point.  Add more shrimp broth if the etouffee is too thick.
     Add 1 pinch of basil.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 3 pinches of chopped Italian parsley.
     Add 2 pinches of  cayenne pepper.
     Add 3 pinches of paprika. 
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Stir the etouffee.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce the etouffee, till the sauce becomes a medium thin sauce consistency.

     Use a ring mold to place the white rice on a plate.
     Spoon the crawfish etouffee over the rice and onto the plate.
     Place a couple of parsley sprigs on the rice.
     Garnish the rice with a warm whole poached crawfish.

     This crawfish etouffee is so very delicious!  Every taste is heavenly.  The red brown color comes from the roux.  The flavors are deep and comfortably spicy.  It is not necessary to add too much cayenne to this recipe because you want to enjoy the savory Cajun flavored crawfish.  A pretty whole crawfish is a nice garnish for etouffee.  Yummy!  ...  Shawna


  1. Hi Shawna,
    I live in New Orleans, born and raised here and this is one of my favorite meals hands down. I can't wait to try your recipe. It's a little different then what I normally do so I am excited to try it. Now come on Crawfish Season! :) Thank you for sharing this great recipe and all your others. It's my first time on your site, I will come back and let you know how I enjoy it whenever I try it. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks! I worked with a bunch of Cajun and Creole cooks from New Orleans in the 1980's. I learned a lot. I have a bunch of Louisiana food in this blog. Its my fave!