Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Louisiana Crawfish Etouffee From Lafittes Landing
Boiled crawfish photo by adie reed @ flickr
From Denny: Crawfish are coming into season and besides the first crawfish boil of the season my tummy goes to thinking about crawfish etoufee, a savory stew served over rice. Traditionally, this is a Creole dish but is now found all throughout Cajun country. It's served in the most upscale restaurants which makes a lot of old timers chuckle. To them it's just a good ol' country dish that tastes good and not expensive to make when you live off the land.
"Etoufee" is a word that means to stew, smother (a favorite technique throughout the entire American South for everything from pork chops to crawfish) or braise. My Cajun father-in-law always talked about smothering his Mississippi Pork Chops. And, oh, were they good too! Anyway, call it smothering, stewing or braising, this method of easy slow cooking is used for shrimp, crab, crawfish, meats and game.
This is an easy version of etoufee for the beginner cook as it is made with the simple light colored roux, sometimes called white roux. You don't have to master the darker roux.
Lafitte's Landing is about 40 minutes outside of Baton Rouge, the capital city. Baton Rouge is an hour plus 15 minutes west of New Orleans. If you come to visit, come long enough to traipse across southern Louisiana, going from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and farther west to Lafayette in a horizontal bee line. Lafayette usually has an International Music Festival around Easter or early April which is great fun.
If you have never visited Lafitte's Landing at Bittersweet Plantation - the brain child and huge success and a bed and breakfast too - of Louisiana native Chef John Folse, then hike on over and pay them a visit! The food is top notch; bring your wallet too. It's worth the time and money every time. Take a look at their B & B Suites as they are in the process of adding new ones, go here. Call them for availability and pricing as they may not have updated their website.
This chef is quite enterprising. He has developed his products as frozen entrees and more, ready to ship from his website in case you get a craving for good Louisiana food. For the crawfish etoufee, check it out here.
Cajun sampler platter with crawfish etoufee (front right), photo by Wyscan @ flickr
Louisiana Crawfish Etouffee
From: Chef John Folse, Lafitte's Landing Restaurant in Donaldsonville, Louisiana
Yield: enough for your hungry friends and relatives
3 pounds cleaned crawfish tails (you can purchase these frozen)
1/4 pound butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup flour
2 quarts crawfish stock (by boiling the shells in water to extract the seasonings and seafood flavor)
1 ounce sherry
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Louisiana Gold Pepper sauce
In a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
Add onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and bay leaves. Saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted.
Add half of the crawfish tails and tomato sauce and blend well into mixture.
Using a cooking spoon, blend flour into the vegetable mixture to form a white roux.
Slowly add crawfish stock or water, a little at a time, until all is incorporated. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining crawfish tails, sherry, green onions, parsley, basil and thyme. Cook an additional 5 minutes.
Season to taste using salt and pepper. Serve over steamed white rice or pasta, adding a few dashes of Louisiana Gold pepper sauce.
*** To purchase any of Chef John Folse's products, check out his extensive offerings at his online store, go here.
*** For more recipes like this, please visit Comfort Food From Louisiana!
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