Crawfish Etouffee – a classic Louisiana dish with a buttery, rich and flavorful sauce with heaps of fresh crawfish tails and herbs and spices. Guaranteed to keep you wanting for seconds and even thirds!
I’m a huge fan of quick and easy weeknight meals. But there are recipes that I’m willing to put in the hard work especially if the outcome is an out-of-this-world dish ready to be devoured in seconds.
Since the crawfish season just kicked in, I couldn’t think of a better recipe than a spin off of my popular Shrimp Etouffee recipe.. If you haven’t tried it, this is the right time to try both wonderful classic meals.
Here in LA, I feel so lucky to have decent seafoods on display. But nothing can beat those fresh juicy Louisiana ones. I can’t wait to visit during crawfish season so I can indulge.
Crawfish season can last from November to July, but you’ll find that the best crawfish in the springtime and early summer, from late February until May. It is during Lent when crawfish season is in full swing.
I literally felt like I’ve been robbed an hour last Sunday due to the Daylight Savings Time switch, but luckily, I was able to put it to good use. I went to the market earlier than I usually do, and laid my eyes on a bounty we shall call “crawfish” which are perfect for a Sunday etouffee.
For those of you who are still new with Etouffee (French pronunciation : [e.tu.fe], English: / AY-too-FAY), it is a French term for smother or suffocate. In this recipe, crawfish tails are smothered in a rich, deep and flavorful roux-based sauce, heightened by the Southern holy trinity (onion, celery and bell pepper) with a dash of heat.
This dish calls for constant stirring to create a lovely blonde roux and produce a nutty flavor. So if you’re up for the challenge, do a little warm up with your arms. 😉
This Crawfish Etouffee is a perfect Lenten meal or even a regular family weeknight meal. Warm rice is definitely the best with this dish or you can go with a big loaf of hot French bread to mop the sauce clean off the plate. Either way, you’ll be coming back for more of this classic Southern dish.
Tips and Notes
- You can easily substitute frozen crawfish tails, if fresh is not available, add it during the last 3 minutes of cooking – do not over cook.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup green bell pepper , diced
- ½ medium onion , diced
- 1/3 cup chopped celery (about 1-2 sticks)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoons thyme fresh or dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups Crawfish or chicken stock adjust to desired consistency
- 1 pound Crawfish
- 2-3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 green onions , chopped
- 1 teaspoon Hot sauce (optional)
- Salt to taste
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan combine melted butter, oil and flour until smooth.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, for about 10-12 minutes, until you have achieved desired color. Don’t walk away from the stove during this process. It might burn.
- Add the onion, green pepper and celery and cook for 8- 10 minutes –stirring frequently.
- Then add, garlic , thyme and bay leaf – continue stirring about 2 minutes.
- Next throw in about 1 cup chopped tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, paprika and creole seasoning and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Gradually pour in about 2 cups of stock, bring to a boil and let it simmer .Add the crawfish, simmer for 3-4 more minutes.
- Adjust thickness soup and flavor with more shrimp broth or water, hot sauce and salt.
- Stir in, green onions, and chopped parsley.
- Serve over hot cooked rice.
- Add a teaspoon or 2 of butter or oil to a sauce pan or skillet . Then throw in Crawfish shells, the remaining scraps of onion, garlic , celery together with aromatics like bay leaf and thyme. .
- Saute for about 5 -7 minutes, stirring constantly, to prevent any burns. Add about 5 cups of water to it
- Bring to a boil, lower heat and let it simmer for 20 minutesRemove from heat and strain using a sieve. Set stock aside
In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan combine melted butter, oil and flour until smooth. Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, for about 10-12 minutes, until you have achieved desired color.
NOTE: Don’t walk away from the stove during this process. It might burn.
Add the onion, green pepper and celery and cook for 8- 10 minutes – stirring frequently.
Then add, garlic, thyme and bay leaf – continue stirring about 2 minutes. Next throw in about 1 cup chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and creole seasoning and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Gradually pour in about 2 cups of stock, bring to a boil and let it simmer. Add the crawfish, simmer for 5 more minutes. Adjust thickness soup and flavor with more shrimp broth or water, hot sauce and salt.
Stir in, green onions, and chopped parsley. Serve over hot cooked rice.