• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 1 Servings

Frank's Perfect Crawfish Etouffee

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Seafood

 Ingredients List

  • 3 lb Crawfish tails; peeled
  • 4 c Crawfish stock
  • 1/2 c Crawfish fat; from the head
  • -s
  • 2 Sticks butter; real butter
  • -only (8 oz.)
  • 2 c Onions; finely chopped
  • 1/4 c Celery; finely chopped
  • 1/4 c Bell pepper; finely chopped
  • 1 tb Garlic; minced
  • 2 tb Green onions; finely choppe
  • -d
  • 2 ts Tomato paste
  • 2 tb Cornstarch; in water
  • 1/2 ts Paprika
  • 1 tb Salt
  • 1 ts Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 ts White pepper
  • 1/4 ts Black pepper
  • Dash thyme
  • Dash basil
  • Dash worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tb Parsley; finely chopped


You start off by boiling about 15 to 20 pounds of crawfish in lightly
salted water. Since you are going to use the water as a cooking stock, you
want to make certain that the crawfish are washed thoroughly before you put
them in the pot. Use only enough water to barely cover the critters. Your
boiling time should be about 4 minutes (timed from the point when the water
begins to boil rapidly). When they are cooked, immediately remove the
crawfish from the water with a strainer ladle and set them aside to cool.
Then, using several thicknesses of cheesecloth, strain out 6 cups of stock
(you want to have extra stock just in case you need it) and set it aside.
Peel the meat out of the crawfish tails, scoop the fat out of the heads,
and devein the tails. Then divide the tails into two equal portions. Leave
one portion whole, and grind up the other portion until the meat is finely
In your heavy 12-inch stainless steel or aluminum (_not_ black iron)
skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and begin sauteeing the onions,
celery, bell pepper, garlic and green onions, cooking until they wilt. This
should take about 7 minutes, and you should stir constantly. When the
vegetables are ready, stir in the tomato paste and cook it about 2 or 3
minutes. Then pour in 4 cups of the crawfish stock, stirring it well into
the vegetable mixture. Also stir in the crawfish fat. When it is mixed
well, cover the pot and let the liquid simmer over low heat for about 10
minutes. After the simmering process, remove the cover and gradually stir
in the liquid cornstarch (dry starch dissolved in just enough water to make
it fluid). Then cover the pot again and let the sauce simmer over low heat
for another 5 minutes. Remember! You still have 2 cups of stock, and you
can use it later to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
Next, add the ground crawfish tails, stir them into the gravy, and mix
in the paprika, salt, cayenne, white pepper, black pepper, thyme, basil and
Worcestershire sauce. Blend everything together really well, and taste the
dish _for each ingredient_. If anything needs adjusting (more salt, more
pepper, etc.), do it now. Then cover the pot, bring the mixture to a _near
boil_, and immediately take the pot off the fire. Leaving it covered, let
the etouffee cool down to room temperature so that the flavors will be
distributed evenly. After making this dish over and over again, I've found
that this one step is probably the secret trickery that makes my etouffee
succulent. Add more stock if desired.
Finally, after the mixture is cool and when you're ready to eat ~-
reheat it to serving temperature, put in the whole crawfish tails, stir in
the parsley, cover the skillet, and simmer for 3 minutes. Then spoon the
etouffee over steamed, buttered rice... and pretend your folks came from
Nova Scotia! Hint: Because of the flavoring process, this etouffee will
increase in richness the longer it sits. For some reason, it seems to taste
better the next day. And it will freeze well. Also note that the sauce
should have the consistency of heavy cream not thick, but not watery
either! Recipe from "The Frank Davis Seafood Notebook" by Frank Davis.
Posted to MM-Recipes Digest V3 #262

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