OMG - Paula Deen has arrived on our screens after many years.... Her cooking programme is probably years old but that is of no consequence to me I was totally mesmerized and hung on every beautiful Southern drawled word - always ending her sentences with Y'all! Now, I want to make Crawfish Etouffee and have looked up several recipes besides hers. This is where I would like to know how YOU think it should be made! I could kick myself for throwing out a recipe book I bought in New Orleans 30 years ago - it had all the cajun cooking recipes!
Emeril Lagasse says the word étouffée means "smothered," and in Cajun and Creole cooking refers to anything cooked in its own juices, sometimes with a bit of water or other liquids as well. The evaporation is kept to a minimum so that the flavors stay intense.
That is hands down my favorite thing that comes from the water, my "desert island" food, source of intense nostalgia for me.
The true glory of etouffee is the crawfish fat, so process your own mudbugs to be sure to get the fat.
I haven't made it in years, but suspect Casimira's husband might have a killer recipe. My favorite way to eat crawfish, besides boiled, is as bisque. I used to make a fine, fine bisque, based on my godmother's version. She was a shining star of a Louisiana cook. (I'll see if my sister has my recipe.)
Bixa - we get crayfish which I'm darn sure are the ocean equivalent of fresh water crawfish. They are damn expensive and only available frozen unless I get down to the beach where divers pull them out of the rocks, and sell them pretty cheap ( well reasonable!). Gotta be careful though when travelling down the coast and come across crayfish sellers alongside the road - to keep their crayfish alive they keep them in 'drop-toilets' (you know the old outdoor hole in the ground).
Tod2 ,I did a thread in here somewhere on a Saturday Afternoon Crawfish Boil here in my neighborhood last year. I am curious as well,as to the difference in craw/cray fish. I have never eaten them outside of their native habitat here,which is in the mud. With regard to the recipe in question,yes,my husband has a recipe but,I am not sure it is written down anywhere just as his seafood gumbo is not either,and I panic of late,that I have never learned from him how to make either. God forbid anything ever happen to him. One time,we had a friend who had relocated to Chicago phone him to ask him for his gumbo recipe and I sat there rapt,listening,but didn't write any of it down.... We each have our own specialties that we cook,his repertoire being much broader than mine. I do a mean Crawfish Bisque, he does the Etouffee. I will probe further into this.
Bixa, I don't recall whether I ate crawfish in New Orleans - such a very long time ago now! Our crayfish only come out of the sea. The nearest thing I have eaten to a freshwater crustacean is a yabbie. This I had in a restaurant in Western Australia. I can't say I was overly impressed. I thought langoustines much nicer. I would think that our crayfish taste very much like Maine Lobster - which I tasted when in Washington DC. and in Disney World.
Casimira - I would love to have the ingredients for your husband's Etouffee! Don't worry about quantities too much , I can refer back to Pam Deen's recipe if necessary. The main thing she stressed was that you HAD to brown the flour (she used rice flour) and butter before doing anything else!
Tod, while you're waiting ........ did you check out the recipes in my Reply #1? You'll see that none of those use a roux. Nevertheless, here are my directions for making a roux, at #15. You can make it darker or blonder, but paragraphs 2, 3, & 4 of that recipe are the basics.
Oh,I'm so sorry I haven't got to until this evening Tod,sorry. I'm terrible about remembering stuff of late. There's a couple of recipes my husband has used over the years. The one I like best and which makes a richer classic Creole etouffee incorporates tomatoes. Other recipes do not...So,given that,you use your celery,garlic,onion,butter,flour,salt,pepper,dash of cayenne,Worcestershire sauce,along with Fish Stock and of course,the crawfish meat,with the fat reserved,and added to while cooking. I hope this is helpful.
OK - I know where that is......I wonder why the call it FAT in Crawfish? Does it look like fat (all white)? Tomalley is orange isn't it? Thanks for your answer Bixa! Oh! Yes the roux, Thanks for the method !
Tod,did you ever get around to creating this long sought after recipe dear? Our crawfish season here is getting ready to crank up. Perhaps I can persuade T. to create his and try to document it in the same/similar fashion as Imec did his Shanghai noodle dish. Don't hold your breathe on this, though.
I don't know where to put this, but it's definitely worth sharing even though it made me weep a little bit with hopeless desire (the boudin picture!). The people trying the food are mostly infants -- it figures they like the fried dough the best. Also, "caliente" is not the Spanish, nor any language's word for "hot" in the sense of hot-&-spicy.
For starters, Crawfish ettouffe and bisque are both Creole cuisines, very often confused with Cajun cuisine. Very distinctive differences between the two, both culturally, custom wise, and, most especially with regard to cuisine.
We have the American Signal Crayfish in our rivers which have pretty well decimated the native crayfish. One of my clients has fishing rights to a river that runs through his land and each spring he and a few mates go crayfish fishing with a chicken leg on a piece of string. They reckon to take about 500 out.
I really enjoyed catching crayfish as a child. We had ditches all around the house and during most of the year they were full of water. Our mother taught us to tie a string around a little piece of ham and just dunk it in the ditch. We could pull up a big fat crayfish about every 2 minutes. They wanted the bait so badly that we didn't even need a net, because they would never let go even when they were pulled out of the water. I think on most of our expeditions we got between 20 and 50 in an hour or two.
Oh holy cred! Kerouac and Mick, I would love to do that. Well, this week I was surprised (beyond belief actually!) that in the deepfreezer at one of the supermarkets I support, were packs and packs of big crayfish tails! Now, this was a shock as I only see them at Xmas time when shopping for my Xmas dinner. I went mad and snapped up half their stock. So far we have had a crayfish dinner on Sunday - the balance of crayfish that were grilled are chopped up and waiting as a crayfish cocktail. The other beauties are at rest deep frozen for later...
Lagatta, I really don't know where the crayfish come from. By the size of the tails they are at least 8-10 years old I would think. Maybe they are even farmed??? Don't know about the wine harvest either.....nobody ever mentions it up our way but maybe in the Cape they talk about it more. Wine is getting really cheap - even the good stuff.