A Month of Mardi Gras Cooking: Let There Be Etouffee


My kitchen has been cranking out Cajun and Creole fare for several weeks, much to my husband’s delight, and I wanted to share some of these treats with you all.

Let’s talk about crawfish, or mudbugs, as they are affectionately called in these parts.  They actually are neither fish nor bug, but arthropods (same as spiders, same as lobsters).

Tasty arthropods!


More specifically, they are crustaceans, and resemble tiny lobsters.  People around here like have them served just as they appear in the picture above, so that they can extract the tail meat and for some brave souls, suck the head.  (Pardon me for that, but that’s what they call it.)

For this dish I made a little trip to Joe Patti’s…


…an enormous seafood market that has been a mainstay in my town for generations.

I opted for the frozen tail meat, since the only fresh crawfish available were the whole ones…and quite frankly, all that peeling will run my manicure.

If you want to cook a crawfish ettoufee, you will need these ingredients:

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 stick  of butter

2 bunches green onion, chopped

1 med onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 lb crawfish tail meat

1 c crushed tomatoes

1.5 c chicken broth

2 tbsp corn starch

1 tbsp Cajun seasoning

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter until the butter has melted.  Add the diced veggies and cook until softened.  Add crawfish tails (and juices) crushed tomato Cajun seasoning, and salt & pepper to taste.  Cook 10 minutes.

Stir in the chicken broth and cook till heated through.  Remove a few spoons of the liquid and mix in a bowl with cornstarch.  Add cornstarch mixture back to pan and cook, med-low, about 35 minutes.  Serve over rice, with a crusty bread.

photo (22)

This ettoufee is not made with a roux, and it works out fine.  If you wish to start with a roux, you may omit the cornstarch at the end.

We had some left over, just enough to make a reappearance last night with our steaks:

photo (24)

That risotto you see there in the background…we’re going to talk about that tomorrow.


About Joyce

40-year-old university advisor, 10-years married with two small children, trying to do it all and have it all and still manage the occasional social interaction through the wonderful world of blogging.
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4 Responses to A Month of Mardi Gras Cooking: Let There Be Etouffee

  1. Valerie says:

    My husband married the wrong woman!! lol He loves cajun and creole flavors but I don’t ever make anything like that! Btw, will your son eat spicy food? 🙂 Joshua will sometimes. Maggie, not so much.

    • Joyce says:

      No, my son has a very low tolerance for things that are strongly flavored in any way. My girl will eat almost anything, but she asked for a piece of sausage out of the jambalaya that I made last week and that seasoning was too much for her.

      Sometimes when I get a little adverturesome in the kitchen, I have to also make them something that’s kid-friendly, like a corn dog. If I didn’t, I would never get to branch out and try new things. (Also, I will sometimes get their portion out first, and then season the pot.)

  2. Oh gosh, I can already hear my husband now telling me Joyce has another good recipe on here you have to try! It really does look good and especially over the steak! Unfortunately we can’t get good seafood here and the stuff in the stores is REALLY expensive. Once a year I make him Shrimp Scampi for his birthday!!! haha!!

    • Joyce says:

      I’ve been here so long that I forget that seafood can be more rare and expensive elsewhere. It’s a shame! I’m sure crawfish doesn’t travel much beyond this region too. But if you ever do want to try this recipe, it can also be made with shrimp.

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