Also to celebrate, I'm going to show you how I make Crawfish Etouffee (Ay-too-fay). This is one dish my husband says I TOTALLY NAIL.
When we visited New Orleans in November for Thanksgiving, A.J. and I brought along our large ice chest. On Black Friday, when most people were trampling each other in the department stores, A.J. and I leisurely strolled up and down the aisles of one of our favorite grocery stores. We filled up that large ice chest and both commented, we need to buy a larger ice chest to use when we come down here.
We loaded up on these babies because this is the part of a Cajun's balanced diet. I have been lucky enough to find them in our local Walmart believe it or not. Sadly though they are Chinese crawfish tails and not Louisiana crawfish tails and there is a difference in taste.
I have adapted this recipe from one of my favorite chefs, John Folse.
The French word "etouffee" means to stew, smother or braise. This technique is found in dishes using shrimp, crab, crawfish and, in some cases, meat or game.
2 pounds crawfish tails
1/4 pound butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup tomatoes, diced
2 tbsps garlic, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup flour
2 quarts crawfish stock or water
1 ounce sherry
1 cup green onions, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce
2 cups white rice, steamed
In a 2-gallon stock pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and bay leaves. Sauté until vegetables are wilted, approximately 3-5 minutes. Aren't the colors amazing?
Add crawfish tails and tomato sauce and blend well into mixture. Using a wire whip, blend flour into the vegetable mixture to form a roux. Slowly add crawfish stock or water, a little at a time, until sauce consistency is achieved. Continue adding more stock as necessary to retain consistency. I used half chicken stock and half water and it came out fantastic.
Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sherry, green onions and parsley and cook an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste using salt and cayenne pepper.
Serve over steamed white rice using a few dashes of hot sauce.
A picture is worth 1,000 words!
Thank you from the bottom of my pot,