A stew of tender reddish pink crawfish in a colorful sauce of stock, red and green bell peppers over white rice sprinkled with fresh green chopped parsley and scallions

Crawfish Etouffee

  A stew of sweet crawfish cooked with vegetables in a delicious cajun seafood sauce served over rice!  A Southern delicacy!

I know what your thinking… that this is the intro to some horror movie like Aliens but don’t let these little guys fool you! They happen to be absolutely delicious!

Say hello to a freshwater delight that can be known as a freshwater lobster, mountain lobster, crawdads, crawfish or crayfish

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If you need to put a flavor to them, they’re similar to lobster or shrimp

Anyway you cut it these little guys are a tasty addition to the seafood culinary menu, especially in an etouffee

So what is Etouffee?

Etouffe (pronounced ey-too-fey) basically means a dish that is smothered. We are going to make a crawfish stew to serve over rice

We are only going to use the tails of the crawfish for this dish.  The upper shells we will reserve for a stock

NOTE: We bought these crawfish precooked hence the red color so we really will only need to heat the tail meat

Twist and pull the tails away from the upper shells then gently remove the tail meat from the tail shell

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Repeat with the rest setting the meat aside but reserving the shells

We started with around 5 pounds of crawfish and ended up with around 1 pound of meat

Place the upper shells in a colander and give them a good rinse

These crustaceans live in riverbeds and can have some grit on them

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Next we will need a small onion (or a half of a large one), 1 celery stalk, 2 bay leaves and some black peppercorns

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Place these ingredients along with the shells in a stock pot and cover in cold water

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Place this over medium high heat and bring to a rapid boil

Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until reduced by 1/4

You can do this ahead of time

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First strain through a colander reserving the liquid and discarding the solids, then strain through a mesh sieve and finally strain the stock through some cheesecloth

Though I urge you to make a fish stock for this dish you can omit this part and substitute a quality store bought seafood or chicken stock

Place the left over stock in a mason jar, seal tightly and refrigerate

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So as we did with the shells we are going to do with the tail meat and give it a rinse and set aside

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For the etouffee we will need  1 celery stalk chopped, 1 onion peeled and chopped, 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped, 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped and 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped

Traditionally etouffee is served with green pepper but I like the sweetness and bright color of red peppers so I’m stepping out of the box here

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Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat

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Add in the veggies and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper

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Cook these stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes

You want to sweat them down enough so that the onions are soften and translucent but the peppers still maintain some texture

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Next we will need 1 cup of the crawfish stock, 1 tablespoon of cajun seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Click on our link to make your own Cajun Seasoning

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Add the seasonings and stock to the pan

Mix to combine

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Bring to a boil then lower and simmer 6-8 minutes to allow the flavors to meld

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Add in the crawfish tails and cook for 2 minutes

Remember these were bought precooked so they only need to be heated through

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Now let’s make a roux

What is a roux?

A roux is basically flour and fat, in this case butter, that is cooked together to make a thickener for sauces, gravies, soups and stews.  The reason for cooking it is to remove the flour flavor

So we will need 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of flour

Melt the butter in a pan and whisk in the flour

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Cook while whisking until the roux has a golden color and a slightly nutty flavor

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Whisk the cooked roux a bit at a time into the etouffee until you reach your desired thickness

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Next we will need a bunch of parsley and 2 scallions chopped

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Sprinkle the parsley and scallions over the etouffee

Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly

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We served this over Jasmine Rice!

A stew of tender reddish pink crawfish in a colorful sauce of stock, red and green bell peppers over white rice sprinkled with fresh green chopped parsley and scallions

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Enjoy!!!

Simply Sundays! ~ Crawfish Etouffee

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

5 pounds of precooked crawfish (roughly 1 pound of tail meat)

For the stock

reserved crawfish shells

1 small onion

1 celery stalk

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns

8 cups of cold water (or enough to cover crawfish)

For the etouffee

1 pound of crawfish tail meat

2 tablespoons or butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 celery stalk

1 onion

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves

1 cup of crawfish stock (or a quality store bought seafood or chicken stock)

1 tablespoon of cajun seasoning

1/2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons of butter

1/4 cup of flour

1 bunch of parsley

2 scallions

kosher salt

ground black pepper

precooked white rice for serving

Directions

For the stock

Twist and pull the tails away from the upper body then gently remove the tail meat from the shell.  Repeat with the rest setting the meat aside and reserving the upper shells.  Place the upper shells in a colander and give them a good rinse

Place upper shells in a stock pot along with 1 peeled and cut onion, 1 celery stalk,  2 bay leaves and 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns then cover in cold water.  Place this over medium high heat and bring to a rapid boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until reduced by 1/4

First strain through a colander reserving the liquid and discarding the solids, then strain through a mesh sieve and finally strain the stock through some cheesecloth.  Place the left over stock in a mason jar, seal tightly and refrigerate

For the etouffee

Remove the tail meat from the shells rinse off and set aside.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat.  To the pan add 1 celery stalk chopped, 1 onion peeled and chopped, 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped, 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped and 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper

Cook these stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes.  You want to sweat them down enough so that the onions are soften and translucent but the peppers still maintain some texture

To the pan add in 1 cup of crawfish stock, 1 tablespoon of cajun seasoning and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  Mix to combine.  Bring to a boil then lower and simmer 6-8 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.  Add in the crawfish tails and cook for 2 minutes

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and whisk in 1/4 cup of flour.  Cook while whisking until the roux has a golden color and a slightly nutty flavor.  Whisk the cooked roux a bit at a time into the etouffee until you reach your desired

Chop 1 bunch of fresh parsley and 2 scallions and sprinkle over the etouffee.  Served over white rice

Tools used to make this recipe

Ball Glass Mason Jar with Lid and Band, Regular Mouth, 12 Jars

5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander

Farberware Stainless Steel 8-Quart Saucepot

Architec Carving Board, Gripperwood

Mini Prep Glass Bowl

NuWave Flex Precision Induction Cooktop

Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Tagine and Extra Glass Lid, 4.5-Quart

ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch

OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk

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