Author Topic: How to make the perfect Crawfish Étouffée!  (Read 3588 times)

Offline Danny

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How to make the perfect Crawfish Étouffée!
« on: January 29, 2009, 02:21:42 PM »
 I am going to write this assuming that you know nothing about crayfish.
 
To clean the tails, grasp the head in one hand at the juncture with the tail, tail in the other hand at same juncture.  Twist and pull.  Once the tail is off pinch it across the top like your trying to crack it long ways (same way you would split a lobster tail).  Now from the underside starting at the head end peel the shell off.  You don't have to get it all off.  Once you have some of the tail meat exposed pinch the very end near the flipper while pulling on the tail meat.  The whole thing should come out.   Since you are making etoufee there is a small pocket of yellow-orange fat inside the head.  Stick your finger in the head where the tail was attached and you should be able to get the fat out.  Add it to your tail meat.
 
For the Etouffee:
 
For each pound of crayfish tail meat you will need:
1 stick of butter (sounds like a lot, I know ---but its so good!!!!!!!!  If you must you can substitute margarine.)
1 cup of chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
 
Make sure you prepare all your vegetables before the next step.
 
You start with a roux.  Because we are using butter we will have to make a dry roux.  
Put two cups of flour into a pot large enough for all the ingredients.  A heavy cast iron dutch oven or a Caphalon-type similar size pot works best.  The pot should be preheated over medium-high heat.  With a flat spatula continuously stir the flour making sure to break up any lumps.  What we are tying to do is brown the flour over pretty high heat without burning it.  You have to keep stirring and don't leave the pot.  When the flour has turned a color slightly darker than peanut butter its ready - should take 20 to 30 minutes depending on your stove.
 
As soon as the roux is brown enough put in the butter (carefully - the pots hot).  You want to continuosly stir the melting butter  and break up any lumps in the flour.  After  the butter has foamed a bit (about 5 minutes) you add the chopped vegetables carefully, stirring every now and then.  This stops the butter from burning.  At this point you can reduce the heat to medium and saute your vegetables 8-10 minutes until the onions are clear.   I usually season the cooking vegatable with some Tony Chacheries and a little dry thyme.
 
Add the crayfish tail meat, fat, and any juice accumulated in the bowl.  Let this heat through competely - 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionaly.
 
You want to end up with some gravy so once the crayfish have heated up you will want to add chicken stock or water-- just enough -- you don't want a soup.
 
At this point you will want to adjust your seasoning to taste with hot sauce, tabasco, Tony's, etc.  You can add a bay leaf or two if you like.
 
After you have added the liquid let it come to a slow boil.  Add 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup of cool water to thicken the gravy.
 
Right before serving over rice add finally chopped green onions.  Goes great with a salad, potato salad, and french bread.

Yum! Yum!    I'm going to have to go get some crayfish tails for tonight!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 08:59:12 AM by steveoh »

Offline gmclain

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Re: How to make the perfect crayfish etouffe!
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 04:30:25 PM »
I just finished dinner but I could eat a bowl of that right now, I haven't had good creole cooking since I came off the road. I had this one time and they served it over a grilled catfish fillets, damn that was good. Might be time to grab the tolman and head south. As Confederate Railroad said in a song "I could use a little time off for bad behavior".
Glenn

Offline jawilco

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Re: How to make the perfect crayfish etouffe!
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 09:05:52 PM »
you really need to post photos for those of us who are new initiates.
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Offline guldam

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Re: How to make the perfect crayfish etouffe!
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2010, 08:57:26 AM »
This what it looks like?


Offline jawilco

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Re: How to make the perfect Crawfish Étouffée!
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 03:56:55 PM »
you really shouldn't post photos for those of us who are new initiates.
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