The pickle man

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Crawfish Etouffee

In many ways, Louisiana is a state divided.  People draw the line either around I-10 or around Alexandria, depending on who you ask.  We on the north side like to claim close relationship to our more cultured cousins down south, but at the end of the day,  collard greens and venison smothered steaks belong squarely on my side, and etouffee belongs down there.

Still, I love the stuff.

And I do have a few qualifications on my side.   My grandmother grew up well south of I-10 in a little town called Franklin, about 8 miles off the gulf.  My husband and I lived in New Orleans for four years - right up until Hurricane Katrina.  And cleaning out a duplex 4 weeks after the storm definitely qualifies me for... something (perhaps lunacy?)

So tonight, I got in touch with my Creole heritage.  I opened a bottle of red wine, danced with my baby to the Meters, and made crawfish etouffee.

You start with what my dad calls the "Holy Trinity" - onion, bell pepper, and celery.

Dice these (or if you're being lazy like I was tonight, use a food processor).

I also threw in some garlic and red pepper.

Saute them in 1 stick of butter until they are soft.  This took about 30 minutes over medium high heat.  If you're using a thick bottomed pan, they are very forgiving.  I think I stirred a total of three times. 

Then add the crawfish.

These are leftover tails I froze after my baby's first birthday... but I only had 1 pound and I wanted enough to freeze...

So I threw these in, too.  Buy local :)

Then I added 2 tablespoons flour, a little more salt and red pepper, and 1 cup of water...

And serve, over steamed white rice!

The baby was very proud of his efforts.

Condensed recipe below:

Crawfish Etouffee (adapted from Landry's Restaurant in New Iberia)
2 large onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you are not trying to feed picky children, definitely increase this)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 lbs crawfish tails, peeled and cleaned, with the fat
2 Tbs flour
1 cup water

Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, red pepper, and salt in the butter until the vegetables are soft (approximately 30 minutes).  Add the pepper and the crawfish tails.  Cook until bubbling.  Add the flour.  Stir until smooth.  Add the water and cook until bubbling.  Serve hot over steamed white rice.  Serve with French bread and a green salad.

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