How to Make a N'Awlins Crawfish & Shrimp Étouffée
Étouffée comes from the French word “to smother.” The dish consists of shellfish cooked in a rich sauce and vegetable mixture served over rice.
The secret to authentic étouffée is a cooking process known as smothering, a technique used in Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cuisines. Smothering is like stove-top braising; the method is relatively simple, involving cooking meat, seafood, or vegetables in a covered pan over low heat with a moderate amount of liquid.
True to its name, this N’Awlins Crawfish & Shrimp Étouffée does, indeed, have crawfish in it, so if you’re squeamish about eating these tiny crustaceans, you could leave them out but then you would also be missing out on the delicate lobster-like flavor that makes the dish super delicious!
The luscious sauce in Étouffée is created using a blond butter roux, which I’ll discuss below. I’ll also give you the recipe for the Cajun spice blend I’ve used, and if you’re new to peeling crawfish – Yes, there is an art to doing it, which I’ll uncover in a great graphic (I found) that explains it all…
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Gluten-Free Creole Étouffée
- 1 Dutch Oven or a large, heavy pot
- 2 Medium-sized Saucepans (or saucepan and skillet)
- Utensils (Cooks Knife, Whisk, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Ladle, or Large Spoon)
- White rice for serving
- 4 cups Stock crawfish, seafood, clam, fish, or chicken
- 2 stalks Celery finely chopped
- 1 large Onion
- 1 large Bell pepper diced
- 1 cup Okra about 8 pods, trimmed and sliced
- 4-6 cloves Garlic minced (approx. 2 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons Tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 Pinch Cayenne optional
- 1 ½ sticks Butter divided
- ¼ cup gluten-free All-purpose Flour
- 2 pounds Crawfish Meat peeled and deveined (approx. 1 pound)
- 1 pound Shrimp peeled and deveined
- Parsley and scallions for garnish
Make the Stew
- Melt three tablespoons of butter in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and bell pepper(s) until the onions turn translucent, about 8 minutes. Next, add the okra, stock, tomato paste, and Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low to keep warm.
Cook the Rice
- Follow the package directions.
Make the Roux
- Meanwhile, make the roux by melting four tablespoons of butter over low heat using a medium-sized saucepan or skillet. Add the flour, whisking continually for about three minutes, allowing it to simmer on low to cook until the mixture is light golden-brown in color. Immediately whisk the roux into the vegetable and stock mixture to thicken.
- Add the crawfish and shrimp and adjust the seasonings, if necessary, then cover and heat for five minutes.
- Turn off the heat and cream the gravy by adding the remaining butter, one pat at a time, whisking until the butter melts to give the sauce a beautiful glossy appearance.
- Ladle one to two scoops of the stew over cooked rice. Serve with a side of toasted garlic bread. Garnish with parsley or sliced scallions if desired.
(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)
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