Crawfish Etouffee

Y’all. I’m sorry. The entire month of April was consumed by a flurry of 7-day work weeks and long nights.

But in the sage words of the Backstreet Boys, “Backstreet’s back, all right.”

And here I am, though I’m less blonde and substantially more female. I’m back to meal planning, too, or at least I will be once my husband is back from his business trip.

We celebrated my victorious return to actual life with a small crawfish boil, and I used the leftover tails and veg to make a number of dishes through the past week, from crawfish nachos to spicy potato salad. But the one that had my husband damned near ready to renew his vows? Crawfish etouffee, with a gorgeously dark roux, Louisiana rice perched atop it, and a crusty baguette from a local bakery.

Crawfish Etouffee

(serves approximately 3 Daves, or 6 people)

3 T vegetable oil
3 T flour
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
Half a bell pepper, diced
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 t dried thyme, or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
.25 t cayenne
1 t paprika
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 quart stock (seafood if you’ve got it, but chicken stock works well enough)
3 tablespoons butter
1.5 lbs peeled leftover crawfish (none of that Chinese stuff, ya’eard?)
.5 bunch green onions, chopped
2 dashes Worchestershire
2 dashes hot sauce (Crystal is my personal favorite for this)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

If you’ve got an Instant Pot, haul it out and start your rice once your mise-en-place is done for your etouffee. That way your attention can be where it needs to be: on making sure you nail the roux.

You want that deep flavor for which this dish is known? Grab a longneck beer and get to stirring. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and whisk in the flour, slowly reducing the heat to medium. Whisk steadily for approximately 10  minutes, and you’ll start to see a pretty chocolate color emerge. and reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onions and cook until caramelized. The roux will and cook until the onions caramelize. Once the onions are translucent, and the roux is a shiny dark chocolate color, add the celery, bell pepper, garlic, and spices. Cook until the vegetables are soft, and add the tomato and stock. Increase the heat to medium-high, and let come to a boil. Reduce heat to let the etouffee simmer, stirring often – you don’t want it to stick. Add the crawfish tails and green onions. Season with Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper. Serve over Louisiana rice, topped with extra green onions. C’est si bon!

One quick note: if you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, you can sub in guar or a gluten-free baking mix for the roux.

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