Aline’s Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish are in season in the late winter and through the spring, and few dishes take better advantage of that distinctive Louisiana resource better than this one. “Etouffee” means “smothered,” and that’s the idea. It’s not a long-cooked stew. Of all my mother’s recipes, this is the one about which my readers and listeners seem to be most pleased. It’s about in the middle of the spectrum between the mild and spicy varieties of this Cajun classic.

Many red crayfish

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green onion tops, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped coarsely
  • 2 Tbs. chopped celery
  • 1 basil leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 3 cups tail meat from boiled crawfish
  • Fat from crawfish heads
  • 3-4 dashes Tabasco
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped green onion

1. Make a medium brown roux with the oil and flour. Add the butter, allowing it time to melt and mix in.

2. Add the white onions and sauté until they barely brown around the edges. Add the green onions, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook until tender.

3. Add tomato and two cups of water. Bring to a boil and add celery, parsley, basil and bay leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add crawfish tails, crawfish fat, salt pepper, and Tabasco. Simmer for 10-12 minutes more. Remember as you add the salt and pepper that the boiled crawfish already have a good bit of both. Serve the etouffee over rice, and topped with finely chopped green onions for garnish.

Serves four to six.

6 Readers Commented

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  1. Jack A Hessmer on April 25, 2014

    I have tried this- which is hard to do when you live in Kentucky.

  2. A J Calhoun on April 7, 2016

    Sorry but tomatoes do not belong on this dish

    • Tom Fitzmorris on April 7, 2016

      Here is the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking. Probably no tomatoes in Cajun etouffee, but it’s pretty common in Creole cooking. Which is “wrong”? Neither. It’s just the way you like it. For what it’s worth, this recipe is among the five or ten that have brought back the greatest number of favorable comments from my readers.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  3. grady ratcliff on June 27, 2016

    Being from South Louisiana this is my go-to etouffee recipe. It is definitely Creole with the tomatoes. It is not a lot of work and tastes wonderful. Making one tomorrow…
    Only thing I do differently is rinse the fat off the crawfish with the 2 cups of water and save as the crawfish broth in the recipe.

  4. Weaver on February 24, 2017

    But I wonder if you just delete the tomato, is it them – VOILA! – CAJUN? 🙂

    Good perspective. Your next assignment: come up with a list of 100 dishes which, if one ingredient is added or subtracted, a new dish name is created. Example: Hollandaise + Tarragon = Bearnaise.

  5. Mac on March 3, 2017

    What is a TOMMENT? Between a Comment and a Torment? Ha!

    Hyuk, hyuk!