Being on the Gulf Coast, there is a abundance of seafood and there is no place better than the State of Louisiana, and there’s nothing better than this classic Southern Creole dish during crawfish season.
Crawfish season varies from one year to the next, based on how cold (or mild) the weather was during the Gulf Coast winter. It also depends on the amount of rain, and the water levels in the swamps and bayous.
Generally, the crawfish season in Louisiana runs from mid-January through early-July for crawfish caught in the wild, with the peak months being March, April and May. Crawfish from farms are available over a longer period of the year. When out of season, you can switch to cooked crawfish that are available in the seafood section of your local super market. This is a great alternative, and if cooked correctly, tastes exactly like the live crawfish.
There are hundreds if not thousands of recipes for Crawfish Étouffée, just as there are many cooks and chefs in the world. This is the old fashion Creole way to cook Crawfish Etouffee, with a blonde roux. Very simple yet very flavorful.But this recipe is easy and adaptable with ingredients you may have on hand. The important thing is to have celery, green bell pepper and onions to make the ‘trinity”, which is so common in Southern Cuisine. I used red onions, which will give you very different taste if you used white or yellow onions. The crawfish can be substituted with shrimp when crawfish are out of season. Even better when served with hot corn bread or a crusty French bread. Start cooking the rice first since this is a quick and easy dish. To keep the dish a bit more healthy, I used steamed brown rice for this recipe, but you can use whatever you like.
1 stick (1/4 pound) butter
2 cups chopped red onions
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped bell peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound peeled crawfish tails
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 Tablespoons chopped green onions
Cooked rice, for serving
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and sauté until soft and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crawfish and bay leaves. Reduce the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook until the crawfish begin throwing off a little liquid, 10 to 12 minutes.
Dissolve the flour in the water. Add to the crawfish mixture and season with salt, cayenne, black pepper and white pepper. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley and green onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves.
To serve, ladle the etouffée into shallow soup bowls and top of with a scoop of cooked rice. Serve immediately.