It’s Mardi Gras and what better way to celebrate than with a rich, delicious helping of Étouffée. So, turn on the Marc Broussard and get down with Gael’s recipe for an amazing Mardi Gras treat!
Gael, one of our certified foodies in our Greenville store spent four years in New Orleans in the Garden District. She became immersed in the culture as a tour guide and started taking cooking classes in the Big Easy where she discovered her love this soulful dish. Her recipe is adapted from The Plantation Cookbook published in 1972.
You should make this the day before or the morning before you want to serve it. You’ll refrigerate it at least 1 hour before reheating and serving. This will help all the flavors really marry together and give you the full etouffee experience.
What You’ll Need
|2 sticks of butter OR 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1/2 cup of crawfish fat
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup choppped yellow onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 to 1 teaspoon basil
8 ounces tomato sauce
|1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
Tabasco to taste
1 cup clam juice and 1 cup of water
2 pounds cooked crawfish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons cognac
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
Roux: The Foundation
A good roux can take your dish a long way. It is basically the glue for this dish. A roux can start very light (blond) and get really dark (mahogany) and the depth flavor for your dish gets richer and richer the darker the roux. For this recipe, you’ll need a roux that is in between the extremes that resembles a deep walnut color. You will need to be patient and not jump the gun as it may take a little while for the color to get to the right stage.
Melt 1 stick of butter over a medium flame in a good stewpot and sprinkle the flour into the melted butter and continually whisk the roux until it comes to a nice walnut color. If you start getting smoke coming off the pot, turn the flame down.
Once you’ve got the right color on your roux add in the remaining stick of butter (or the half stick and the crawfish fat) and melt the butter. Throw in your green onions, yellow onions, garlic, green pepper, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and basil. Saute all of the ingredients together over a medium flame for 30 minutes. You’ll need to continually stir to ensure an even saute, so have a glass of wine ready and have some good music playing.
Now that you’ve got your veg squared away, time to add the liquids: tomato sauce, white pepper, salt, Worcestershire, tabasco and liquid (water or clam juice/water). Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about the main ingredient: the crawfish! After 1 hour, turn off the flame and add the crawfish tails – don’t defrost if they are frozen, just throw them in – then add the lemon juice, parsley and cognac and mix thoroughly.
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Before serving, heat up without bringing to a boil and serve atop some rice or in individual ramekins. Garnish with the green onion tops.
Call in the Subs!
If you’re in the Wilmington, Delaware area, you can get crawfish tails from Sansones Seafood or you can order them frozen from cajungrocer.com. They ship packed in dry ice. If you can’t get your hands on crawfish OR you’re not sure if you would like the crawfish, you can substitute with small cooked shrimp as well.
Happy Mardi Gras!