Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Étouffée

In honor of Mardi Gras, I wanted to make a festive Cajun dinner tonight. This is another recipe that totally hooked my husband. He LOVES spicy Cajun food, so I bought a cast iron skillet and learned how to make etouffee with this recipe. 
You can make it more spicy by adding cayenne pepper and extra hot sauce, or less spicy by omitting those. Take time to make the roux and don't stop stirring, otherwise you will have to start all over! 
Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 to 2 Tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
2 Tbsp old bay seasoning or Paul Prudhommes seafood magic blend
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1 pound crawfish tails
1 pound medium shrimp

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Gradually stir in flour, and stir constantly until the mixture turns peanut butter brown or darker, at least 15 minutes. This is your base sauce or roux. If the roux burns, discard and start over. I use a large fork with the flat side to the bottom of the pan in a side to side motion.

Once the roux is browned, add the onions, garlic, celery and bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock and season with the seafood seasoning or Old Bay. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Season the sauce with Louisiana hot sauce and cayenne pepper (optional) and add the crawfish and shrimp. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque.

Serve with french bread or saffron rice. 

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