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Seafood

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Etouffee comes from the French meaning to smother. Although the recipe requires a bit of time and effort, it is definitely one of the best for etouffee I've ever found. I made a few personal adjustment to this classic dish from Louisiana. This is a Creole style due to the addition of the scorched tomato sauce.

Preparation Time: 1 hour 30 minutes minutes    Serving Size: 4

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 pound)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped (usually just the sides of a larger sized pepper)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced (about 5 cloves)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds crawfish tails, fresh or thawed if purchased frozen
  • 3/4 cup green onions, chopped (about 3 bunches)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (click here for mine)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup water (approximate)
  • cooked long-grain white rice

Start by making a blond roux. Heat bacon grease over medium-low heat in a large heavy bottomed pot like a Dutch oven. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the flour. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until you reach a blond roux, which is a golden color, but not brown. Use extreme caution to not burn the roux. When blond roux is achieved, add both sticks of butter and stir to melt into the roux. Add the onions, celery and green pepper, stirring well after each addition. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning. While the vegetables cook in the roux, scorch the tomato sauce.

As with the roux, use extreme caution to not burn the tomato sauce. In a separate small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, constantly stir the tomato sauce using another wooden spoon to allow the moisture to start evaporating. The goal is cook until the sauce until the texture resembles tomato paste but more importantly it changes color from bright red to a dark brick read. This should take about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

After the 30 minutes is up, to the roux add the garlic and bay leaves and stir well. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Now add the cooled scorched tomato sauce and crawfish and stir. After it comes back up to temperature, add the green onions, parsley, Creole seasoning, sugar, and salt and pepper, stirring after each addition. Cook 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally and adjust for seasoning. Now add enough water to achieve desired thickness. Usually I add up to 1 cup to get the right texture of a gravy, but this is to taste. Serve over cooked long-grain white rice.


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