One of the many special events of the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival was an étouffée cooking demonstration Saturday afternoon. Literally “smothered crawfish,” crawfish étouffée consists of aromatic vegetables and crawfish meat smothered in a savory roux-based sauce and served over rice. Cy and his brother gave us a taste of Acadian charm and delicious étouffée. While sipping a beer, Cy joked that in Acadia, when making an étouffée, the first thing you need to do is marinate the chef. So, in the spirit of Cajun Country, be sure to pour yourself a glass before you get started!
This recipe can be adjusted to add more crawfish. All of the quantities stay the same, except where noted (garlic, flour & butter). Just adjust the amount for each of those for each pound of crawfish you add. Every étouffée has his or her secret ingredients that you won’t find in any printed recipe. Experiment with size of chopped vegetables, quantities and seasonings to develop your own secret recipe!
2 pounds fresh crawfish tails (If fresh crawfish tails are impossible to find where you live, buy frozen tail meat and thaw it out completely. See NOTES, below)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 bell peppers, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic (1 teaspoon per pound per pound of crawfish)
2 tablespoons flour (1 tablespoon per pound of crawfish)
8 tablespoons margarine or butter (4 tablespoons per pound of crawfish)
salt and pepper or your favorite season-all (like Tony Chachere’s) to taste
cooked white rice
Melt butter or margarine at low heat. Various chefs prefer margarine over butter, and vice versa, when making an étouffée. Generally, butter imparts a richer flavor and creamier consistency. But étouffée sauces range from very rich to thinner, gumbo-like sauces, so experiment.
Add onions, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté slowly at very low heat (this gives the chef plenty of time to marinate) until onions are transparent.
Add flour, stirring frequently to prevent lumps and sticking.
Add crawfish tails and season to taste. Cover and cook for 15 minutes stirring frequently. Serve hot over rice.
If you cannot find crawfish locally try these online sources
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