The sunset of Mardi Gras may mean many different things to different people throughout the world, but for those of us that enjoy the finer edible things in life it marks the official kickoff to Crawfish season. Frankly, there is just no better way to start the culinary calendar than with that of Crawfish Étouffée. The heightened level of cultural decadence that exist in and around the Crescent City right around this time of year are on full frontal display in one of the most renowned Creole dishes known to man. Though we’ve made our name in the BBQ sphere even we must take the necessary break from smoke and wood in order to indulge in the finer things that the Gulf Coast waterways have to offer!
Many great things must first happen in order to appropriately enjoy a nice helping of Crawfish Étouffée. First one must host a massive Crawfish Boil and invite hundreds of hungry guests. Make sure to order double the necessary amount of Crawfish so that you’re guaranteed to have plenty of leftovers. Otherwise you’ll have to settle for frozen Crawfish tails and that’s just down right ornery!
Reference our previous blog post on how to throw a modest 300 pound crawfish boil:
The Creole Trinity
Otherwise known as the Trinity. Aside from the Crawfish, these are the three most pertinent ingredients in the dish. Select on the freshest and most colorful options since the Celery, Red Bell Peppers and Tomatoes form the primary flavor basis of Crawfish Étouffée.
1 Cup Freshly Chopped Tomatoes
1 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Cup Chopped Red Bell Peppers
1 Cup Extra Creamy – Salted Butter
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Chopped Onions
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onions
3 Cloves of Minced Garlic
3 Cups Chicken Stock
1 T Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup chopped Parsley (Garnish)
2 Pounds Cooked Crawfish
2 Cups Long Grain White Rice
2 T Creole Essence
Creole Essence (10-Spice Blend)
2 T Hungarian Paprika
2 T Kosher Salt
2 T Granulated Garlic
1 T Cracked Black Pepper
1 T Cracked White Pepper
1 T Granulated Onion
1 T Cayenne Pepper
1 T Dried Oregano
1 T Dried Thyme
1 T Dried Basil
*Combine all of this together in a jar and use only the amount as indicated in the above recipe.
- On medium heat, add flour to a heavy bottom pot.
- Add equal parts butter.
- Stir constantly until the roux becomes a peanut butter brown.
-This could take about 45 minutes depending on your pot.
- Add your “Trinity” (Chopped Celery, Bell Peppers, Tomatoes).
- Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the Chopped Green Onions, Sweet Onions, Minced Garlic.
- Add the chicken stock along with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, and the Creole Essence dry blend.
- Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the cooked crawfish.
- Cook for an additional five minutes, season with Salt + Pepper to your liking.
- Wash and presoak two cups of Jasmine/Basmati/Long Grain rice for 15 minutes in lukewarm water.
- Bring 3.5 cups water/stock to a boil in a nonstick pot.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 Tablespoon of butter, and pinch of turmeric (optional, for color).
- Drain your rice and add to the boiling water.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cover with lid.
- Make sure to not uncover or stir the rice until its cooked.
- In most cases the water will completely cook out in 10-15 minutes.
- Lift the lid around 10 minutes and examine the rice for crater-lake impressions which indicates that the water has cooked out completely.
- If water remains, leave it on the stove for another few minutes on low heat.
- Once the water is completely cooked out let it sit undisturbed for atleast 10 minutes.
- Only now should you stir the rice with a wooden spoon.
- Serve over hot rice then garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
- Love Crawfish Étouffée!