We have transitioned from my favorite holiday seasons to another of of my favorite holiday seasons – Mardi Gras! I love the Mardi Gras season because it reminds me of my Louisiana roots with good food, good booze and good company. Even though we just started a New Year and I love to stay healthy by eating well, sometimes you just have to splurge a little bit with some delicious southern cooking.
With the Saints in the playoffs, I had to make this recipe to show my support. The only thing that was missing was a king cake but luckily, I have two being shipped in from Sucre in New Orleans. WHO DAT.
For this recipe you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 lbs. crawfish tails, already peeled & cooked
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
4 medium celery stalks, small dice
1 medium green bell pepper, small dice
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 quarts seafood stock
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tbsp Tony’s Seasoning
Few dashes hot sauce, preferably Louisiana Hot Sauce
Freshly chopped curly or Italian parsley
3 cups rice (doubles to 6 cups when cooked)
Recipe Yields: 8 Servings
First, cook your rice on the stove pot according to package directions. *Believe me, you won’t want to wait on your rice to cook when you’re starving and ready to eat the étouffée!*
Next- time to make the roux. If you have the time and wrist strength, always make a homemade roux over going store bought. In a large sauté pan, melt the equal parts of flour and butter over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir the roux until the color begins to turn a peanut butter-brown, about 5-7 minutes. Be careful as to not burn the roux over high heat or by leaving unattended.
Next, in a deep sauteuse pan or medium pot, cook the holy trinity in 2 Tbsp butter over medium high heat. *The Cajun holy trinity consist of onion, bell pepper & celery.* Once the veggies are tender and translucent, about 8 minutes, add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Then, add 2 spoonfuls of the homemade roux to the vegetables. Stir the roux with the veggies until the flour is “cooked out.” Slowly pour the seafood stock in the pan with the veggies and roux. Stir until all clumps are out. Add the bay leaf. Old Bay seasoning, Tony’s seasoning and a few dashes of hot sauce. Allow the étouffée to cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often.
*If the étouffée appears to be too thick, simply add more stock. If the étouffée appears too thin, simply stir in more of the roux.*
Before you dig in, season the étouffée with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Pour over rice in a big bowl and feel the Big Easy vibes.