Crawfish A to what?
For those who have never had Crawfish Étouffée, the first time someone says it, you probably ask back, "Crawfish A to what?" It's pronounced [e.tu.fe] or the not from around here pronunciation is [ay-TOO-fay] the way I say it.
While the first meal I ever cooked for my husband turned out to be a disaster, I have redeemed myself by learning how to cook some things that he grew up on in Louisiana. Credit for perfection goes to my mother-in-law. My husband would make it but it wouldn't be JUST like hers. I think mine is pretty darn close.
I drafted up this recipe especially for my cousin Ernita, who reads my blog. I sent her the recipe via e-mail and told her that the next time I made it I would post it here and make it pretty.
What you need:
- 1 onion
- 4 stalks of celery
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 cans of Mild or Original Rotel Diced Tomatoes (Mild is still hot)
- 1 small can of tomato sauce mixed with 1 TBSP of cornstarch for thickening
- Cajun seasoning
- 2 (16 oz) packages of crawfish tails (found in frozen seafood section of WalMart)
As I wrote to Cousin Ernita:
Sauté chopped onion and celery (I almost puree it in one of those Ninja choppers) in stick of butter. Add fresh minced garlic if you like garlic. Simmer down (this is the longest process) until its almost dry. Pour in Rotel, then tomato sauce/cornstarch. Bring to boil, then turn it down to simmer. Add the thawed crawfish and turn off in ten minutes. The crawfish just needs to be heated up, not cooked.
Use garlic powder, cajun seasoning, salt & pepper to taste. If you taste it and say "not quite" like something is missing, its probably not enough salt. My mother-in-law also uses a little sugar, so I do that too if at the end if it's not "there" yet.
Here's the thing... I don't know what difference a bit of sugar makes, but for this Good Friday meal, I didn't need it. It was perfect. Serve over rice and have sweet corn as a side.