Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Crawfish Etouffee

We had our 2nd annual McCao crawfish boil in mid-April.  It was kind of a scramble, because apparently crawfish season ran a little late this year due the hard freezes over winter.  Too bad we didn't expect that and arranged the crawfish boil before I was sure we could get our hand on some.  Well the usual local suppliers: HEB, Whole Foods, Quality Seafood, and Fiesta had none to sell yet.  Instead of cancelling, we just had some crawfish overnighted to our front door from Louisiana through Louisiana Crawfish Company.  Haha. It was awesome! Of course, there was the usual Jake vs. crawfish throw down.  Jake won. He ate like, 3 live mud bugs.  We ordered 40lbs and had a few pounds left, so I made our friends help me peel the rest and saved the tails to make my mom's crawfish etouffee.

This etouffee is the delicious combo of buttery smokey roux, and that classic celery, onion, green bell pepper combo that marks great creole dishes.  I don't know how exactly my mom started making this recipe, but it was definitely something we looked forward to a few times a year.  I want to guess my mom got the recipe from some of my family (my uncle) who went to LSU for school.  There are actually a lot of Vietnamese immigrants in Louisiana, most probably picked LA because they heard French was spoken there, like my uncle.  How surprised they were when they got there and couldn't understand a lick of that weird french-creole languages.  Haha.  Anyway, this crawfish etouffee recipe is da bomb diggity.  I usually double the recipe because it's usually not enough!  The season mix is created first, and you use that season mix throughout the recipe.  I copied this recipe from one of my mom's old recipe books that are literally falling apart and hand written, so I'm sorry if the directions are a little confusing!

Crawfish Ettouffee
SEASON MIX

  • 2 tsp saslt
  • 2 tsp ground cayenne red pepper
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried sweet basil
ROUX

  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1/4 c chopped celery
  • 1/4 c chopped green pepper
  • 2/3 c vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c flour
Directions for roux:

  1. Heat oil over high heat.  Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until the roux is a dark red brown.  Be careful not to burn! It can burn very quickly.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vegetables and 1 tsp of the seasoning mix
SAUCE

  • 3 c fish or chicken stock
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 lbs crawfish
  • 1 c green onions
Directions:

  1. Bring 2 cups of the stock to a boil in a large pot.  Gradually add roux and whisk well
  2. Reduce heat and cook 2 more minutes
  3. In another large pan, melt 1 stick of butter and saute the crawfish.  Add chopped green onions and remaining stick of butter and 1 c of stock, shaking pan instead of stirring and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Combine the sauteed crawfish/green onion mixture into the roux/stock mixture.  Serve over rice and/or french bread.



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