I am not overly confident cooking most Cajun foods. My recent gumbo turned "okay," but it was definitely not something to rave about. Being able to cook Cajun food the way Cajuns cook Cajun food in my opinion takes years of practice, especially if you are not Cajun like me. However, I am confident with this etoufee recipe because I got it from BJ's family who is Cajun and who flat know how to cook! This recipe is so good that BJ and I refuse to order etoufee at any of the restaurants in Louisiana. It just never measures up to what we are used to!
Now for all of you non-Louisianians who shudder at the thought of eating crawfish, let me just say, you don't know what you are missing! However, you can replace the crawfish with shrimp, and it still tastes good, though not AS good in my opinion. I made it with shrimp last night though because the one store in Nairobi (and probably in Kenya!) where I've found crawfish has not had any lately. It must not be crawfish season here.
The Best Crawfish Etoufee
3/4 to 1 lb crawfish tails or shrimp
1 can creme of shrimp soup (I have to use cream of chicken or mushroom here, but it definitely lacks some flavor.)
1 can Mild Rotel tomatoes
1 and 3/4 to 2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup butter or margarine
6 Tablespoons flour
2 stalks celery (optional)
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 green onions sliced
1/8 cup parsley (I have to use cilantro here instead, and it works too.)
Salt (about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons), pepper, and cayenne to coat crawfish/shrimp well
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chopped celery, onions, bell pepper, and garlic, and allow ingredients to cook down. Add the 6 Tablespoons of flour and stir. Add the creme of shrimp soup, the Rotel tomatoes, brown sugar, and almost 2 cups of water. Allow to cook for 20-35 minutes.
While this is cooking, place crawfish or shrimp in a bowl, and cover it with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. (I cut the shrimp in half to make them more the size of crawfish tails.) After the cooking time has elapsed, add the crawfish/shrimp to the pan. Cook until the crawfish/shrimp is almost done; then add the green onions, parsley, and mushrooms. Cook until all ingredients are done. Serve over rice, and enjoy.