I made this cajun-rooted dish tonight for two reasons:
1. Just in time for Fat Tuesday
2. To celebrate the adventures to come in NOLA for one of my best friend, Lauren's, bachelortte party!
I've always loved, but never experimented much with cajun dishes. One of my girls here in Dallas, Erin, is from Baton Rouge, LA so I trusted this recipe to be fabulous and authentic when she gave it to me. It did not fail to be either! Want a better reason to try it? It's super easy! Perfect for beginners.
1 pkg (12 oz/.75 lbs) Frozen Louisiana Crawfish Tail Meat (in most frozen seafood sections)
1 pkg (12 oz) Frozen Veggie Seasoning Blend (onions, celery, bell peppers = "Holy Trinity")
1 can (8 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained (optional..this was my touch)
1 bunch of green onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 heaping Tbsps of flour
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 stick of butter
1 Tbsp of Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's)
1 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups of instant white rice (or brown)
First, run luke-warm water over the frozen crawfish while still in the package.
Meanwhile, chop your green onions and mince your garlic
In a large pot empty the bag of frozen veggies (known as Holy Trinity in the south). Turn the heat to medium-high. Sautee the veggies until they are soft (not browned) and most of the liquid is evaporated.
Add the can of drained mushrooms, chopped garlic and most of the green onions (save some for toppings). Sautee for another couple minutes.
Turn down the heat to med-low and now add that 3/4 stick of butter...Mmmm... Stir until it melts
Starting with one Tablespoon at a time, add the flour and mix until all 4 Tbsps are dissolved. Make sure the heat is down to med-low or low..no higher. We don't want this make-shift "roux" to burn :)
Time to add your little crawfish tails with ALL the liquid...do not drain. Turn the heat back up to medium to med-high and cook these guys until they roll into little balls. Keep in mind they've already been cooked so you're basically just heating them back up.
Time to "Étouffée" our crawfish which literally translates to "smother". Let's smother our guys with seasonings! Add Tony's and Worcestershire sauce. I put about a Tbsp of each.
Stir in the 4 cups of Chicken Broth, and bring the mixture back to a boil. Simmer until the liquid cooks down about 20-30 minutes. Having troubles thickening your Étouffée? Not a problem: ladle out about 1/2 cup of the hot liquid and whisk in 1 Tbsp of flour. Add back to your mixture.
While your Étouffée is cooking down, make 2 cups of white (or brown) instant rice. I like white...brown is obviously healthier.
Once your Crawfish Étouffée is about the consistency of gravy it is ready! Spoon over your rice and top with your extra scallions and a sprinkle of Tony's.
What would I have done differently? Next time I may buy fresh onions, celery and bell peppers and make the Holy Trinity the real way. The frozen was just so easy! Also, I would probably add my green onions during the last 5 minutes of cooking instead of the beginning. Parsley would also add a nice garnish with the green onions.