Et tou what? Why it's Cajun,Crouch Crawfish Etouffee

Easy recipe for Lousiana-Inspired Crawfish Etouffee. Perfect for Mardi Gras Celebrations.

With  Mardi Gras celebrations happening in New Orleans, it made me think about an annual crawfish boil that some friends of ours host each year.  The first time we attended, I was pregnant with my daughter.  It was a nice, cool, southern May evening. My adorable friend had all this wonderful food for everyone to eat including this yummy, rich gumbo served over rice.  I think I ate it as if I had not eaten in weeks.  My son, who was then three, loved it and it got two thumbs up from my husband, too. On my second or third helping of the dish (remember, I was very pregnant), I motioned my friend over.

I asked in between bites, "What is this?  It's so good?"

She told me it was Etouffee.  I probably looked at her puzzled and as if I needed to free my ears of wax because I didn't understand her.  I think I  said, "Et tou what?   She told us it was Crawfish Etouffee, and it was her first time making her husband's family recipe.  Her husband was born in Louisiana, and the recipe has been in the family for years.

I asked my friend if I could share it with all of you, and after checking with her in-laws, she said yes.

Get ready to make some melt in your mouth, Cajun goodness!  This Crouch family recipe calls for crawfish, but I did some research on Etouffee just for us since I've never personally made it.   I just love the internet!  I would have had much better college grades if I could have researched on-line like you can now as opposed to library books and microfiche.  Here's what I learned.  Etouffee is the French word for "smother".  It is most popular with shellfish, chicken, or a combination of both.  So, if you have difficulty getting crawfish then shrimp would be a great substitute.

Crouch Crawfish Etouffee

3 lbs crawfish tails (peeled)
2 sticks of margarine
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can button mushrooms
1 large onion (chopped)
1 can rotel tomatoes (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
1 can beer (light beer, any type)
1 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup bell pepper (diced)
1/4 cup celery (diced)
White Rice (Cooked Separately)

Season to taste with these spices:
Cayenne pepper (you don't need a lot, the rotel will add spice)
Lots of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (more is better)
Lots of minced garlic

First, melt butter or margarine in a pot. Your heat should not make the butter froth up (you will want to keep this heat going the whole time). Saute bell peppers in butter for about 6 minutes. Now add all the onion. Saute down until onion is soft and yellowish, remember to stir often.

Add cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup,  and the can of Rotel.  Let it come to room temperature. Add celery, button mushrooms, and spices to taste. You will have to put quite a bit of paprika to make it a nice brownish orange color. Let cook for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

About 10 minutes after you put in the vegetables, pour 1/4-1/2 can of beer into the pot. You may also need to add water if the stew is too thick for you. With about 15 minutes left, add crawfish and green onions.
Let cook for about 15 minutes or until crawfish are done, stirring occasionally.

Remove and pour over white rice.

Enjoy!  And Let the Good Times Roll this week with some yummy Crouch Crawfish Etouffee.

You could also substitute shrimp for crawfish.

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