Etouffee is a French word and its English translation is ‘smothered’ or ‘stifled’. When used in conjunction with cooking, Etouffee means simmering food in very little water (or any other liquid) that has a mixture of spices and herbs. This thick gravy is then served along with rice.
Crawfish Etoufee owes its origin to France but is quite a popular dish in Louisiana as well. There is a major difference in the way the dish is prepared in the two countries. The difference is noticeable in the taste of the dish as well. In both the countries, cooking crawfish involves using plenty of spices; however, the taste of the dish in France is noticeably richer in taste than its American counterpart.
The color if crawfish etoufffee is usually dark brown. There are traces of red color as well that is mistakenly taken for crawfish fat. However, crawfish fat is not red in color; it has a bright yellow color and is not responsible for the hint of red in the dish. The red color of the dish can come from the aftermath of cooking/frying the spices. The red color can also be the result of using tomatoes for preparing the crawfish.
The main ingredient used in the preparation of Crawfish Etouffee is the stock. Seafood stocks are easy to prepare and do not require long time to cook. Using stock in the preparation of the dish can drastically change the taste of etouffee.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients Required For Preparing Crawfish Etouffee
Frozen or fresh crawfish tails – 500 grams
All-purpose flour – ¼ cup
Butter or vegetable oil – ¼ cup
Onions, finely chopped – 150 grams
Fresh celery, chopped – 150 grams
Green pepper, finely chopped – 120 grams
Garlic, crushed – 3 teaspoons
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Water – 180ml
Green onion, sliced – 120 grams
Fresh parsley leaves – 70 grams
Salt – ½ teaspoon or as per taste.
Cayenne pepper – as per taste
Black pepper powder – ¼ teaspoon
Steaming hot cooked rice – quantity as required
Method Of Preparation Of Crawfish Etouffee
1. If you are using frozen crawfish tails then first thaw them for over an hour before cooking them. Take a heavy-bottomed saucepan and combine flour and butter (or oil). Stir the two ingredients until you have a smooth mixture.
2. Place the saucepan over high flame and cook the mixture for close to three minutes. Keep stirring the ingredients constantly. Now lower the flame to medium and cook for another 8 minutes. The mixture will turn reddish brown in color.
3. Once the color of the mixture changes, add onions, celery, pepper and garlic in the pan. Stir the mixture and cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Add a tablespoon of butter in the saucepan and stir until the butter melts completely. Pour water into the pan and also add parsley, slices of green onions, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Keep cooking until the entire mixture comes to a boil.
5. Add crawfish tails to the saucepan and bring the contents of the saucepan to boil again. Now reduce the flame and simmer the contents of the saucepan for close to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the etouffee to a serving dish. Garnish with chopped coriander if desired. Serve with hot rice.
Photo Credit: Geekcasual.com/food/crawfish-etouffee