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Crawfish Etouffee

A classic New Orleans dish served in the finest restaurants and in the greasiest spoons, although it is said that the best versions are made at home. A stew that makes a fine one dish meal. It can be made in advance, refrigerated, and reheated over a period of several days. Always cook the rice fresh. Minute rice works fine. This recipe makes a large batch, enough to feed 12-16.

Ingredients:

-3 sticks salt butter
-1 cup flour
-2 cups chopped onion
-1 cup chopped green pepper
-1 cup chopped celery
-1/3 cup chopped green onions (scallions) white part only
-1/4 cup finely minced fresh garlic
-1 lb. crawfish tail meat with juices
-3 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
-1 Tbs. salt
-1&1/2 Tsp. Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic
-1&1/2 Tsp. Paul Prudhomme Seafood Magic
-1/2 Tsp. freshly ground black pepper
-3/4 Tsp. cayenne
-1/4 Tsp. crushed red pepper pods
-3/16 Tsp. cumin
-1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops (green part only)
-1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
-5-6 cups cold water
-Boiled rice

In a heavy 5-6 quart kettle, pot, or frying pan (I prefer a large, deep, non-stick frying pan), melt butter over low heat. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly. Cook until a light to medium brown roux is formed (about 20 minutes). Quickly add the onion (not the green onions), green pepper, celery, and crushed red pepper pods and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are tender and glazed (about 20 minutes). (You may need to add 1/2 to 1 cup cold water when glazing the veggies if the roux and veggies are too thick). Then add about
1/2 the crawfish tail meat and juices, all the seasonings, lemon juice, parsley
and green onions (tops & bottoms) and mix well. Add aprox. 3 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Immediately dump the remaining crawfish tail meat and juices and the 3 lbs. of shrimp and reduce heat to a low simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimp have just turned pink and are tender. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. The consistency of the stew should be gravy like, not soupy thin, and not like a big sticky glob. Add the amount of water necessary to obtain gravy consistency. The same is true when reheating after refrigerating. You will need to add some water to bring it back to the right consistency. Serve over boiled rice. A green salad and a crusty french bread go good with this dish
also.

Tips: 1. I recommend the medium size black tiger shrimp commonly found in most grocery stores in the Duluth area. They come individually flash frozen, deveined, with the shell still on. Just before starting to cook, thaw shrimp under cold running water, peel and rinse with cold water. Leave in refrigerator until it is their turn to go into the pot. 2. The dish is called "crawfish etouffee", but because I like shrimp and because it is more readily available than crawfish, I have tinkered with this recipe to the point where it should more appropriately be called "shrimp etouffee." You can buy frozen crawfish tail meat by the pound, with the juices in it, in Superior, WI on Hwy. 2 at the roadside seafood "shack" not too far from McDonalds. I also have purchased it from my local grocery store meat department who ordered it for me from Kemps in Minneapolis. It takes about a week to get and is the same product sold in Superior. Experiment with this dish. You may like a little more or less (or none at all) of certain ingredients). I am going to try it with Chicken one of these days instead of seafood!

Submitted by:
Tim Tysdal, tktysdal@aol.com

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