Crawfish étouffée is a classic Cajun and Creole dish from Louisiana, USA. It consists of crawfish (also known as crayfish or crawdads) cooked in a roux-based sauce with vegetables and spices, served over rice.
The dish is made by first preparing a roux, which is a mixture of flour and oil or butter cooked until it reaches a deep brown color. Vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and celery are then added and cooked until softened. Next, crawfish tails are added to the mixture, along with broth or water, and a variety of spices such as garlic, cayenne pepper, and paprika. The dish is then simmered until the crawfish is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.
Crawfish étouffée is typically served over white rice and garnished with chopped green onions. It is a popular dish in Louisiana, particularly during crawfish season in the spring.
PREPARATION TIME: 45 minutes
- 1 pound crawfish tails
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsps. tomato paste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion, green pepper, celery, and minced garlic to the saucepan. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to make a roux. Cook the roux until it is the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes.
- Gradually add the chicken broth to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
- Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, thyme, basil, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the crawfish tails to the saucepan and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the crawfish are cooked through.
- Serve the etouffee over a bed of cooked white rice.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS OR ADDITIONAL TIPS:
- Serve with a side of crusty bread for dipping in the sauce.
- For a spicier etouffee, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or a chopped jalapeno pepper to the sauce.
- For a creamier etouffee, stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream or sour cream before serving.