Etouffee, meaning "to smother" in French, is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine. In Cajun cooking, etouffee is a signature entree of New Orleans with crawfish smothered in a rich brown sauce over rice. When crawfish season closes, shellfish such as shrimp or crab also are used. Traditional etouffee is made without tomato paste or cornstarch—but with a rich brown butter roux and crawfish fat. Creole etouffee, which sometimes adds tomatoes, has a lighter, blonde roux that is cooked for a shorter time than the Cajun version's sauce. Both are especially popular in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, northern Florida, and eastern Texas.
Recipe Servings: 4
- 1½ lbs crawfish tails with fat
- ½ cup butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup green onions, chopped (green section only)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- White rice, cooked as needed for serving (optional)
- Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it turns an aromatic bubbly brown.
- Stir in flour to make a thick brown roux, about 10 minutes.
- Add onion and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add crawfish fat. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add crawfish tails, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until crawfish turn pink and curled.
- Add herbs and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Served hot over rice, if using.
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