Pat O'Briens Crawfish EtouffeeAurora Catering's
Crawfish Etouffee
Yield 6 - 8 dinner servings


Ingredients
LB BUTTER (Divided)
1- CUP WHITE FLOUR
2 LARGE ONION (Diced)
4 STALKS CELERY (Chopped)
1 MEDIUM FRESH BELL PEPPER (Diced)
1 TBSP MINCED GARLIC
1 -1/2 CUP CHARDONNAY
4 WHOLE BAY LEAFS
1 -1/2 CUPS DICED TOMATOES
2 CUPS CRAWFISH STOCK
1 PINT HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM
1 TBSP WHOLE THYME LEAFS (Dried)
1 -1/2 TSP DRIED SWEET BASIL
1 TSP WHITE PEPPER
1 TSP CAYENNE PEPPER
1 LB PEELED LOUISIANA CRAWFISH TAILS
1 TSP FRESH LEMON JUICE
1 BUNCH GREEN ONIONS (Chopped)

Method
In a medium skillet and over medium heat, melt the 1 -1/2 sticks of butter and add the flour. Cook the roux to a very light tan color (about 3 - 5 minutes), this is called a blanc or blonde roux.

In a 10 quart Dutch Oven or large cast iron skillet and over medium high heat, add the last of the butter and the onions and celery. Cooked until the onions are clear and the celery are soft, about 7 minutes. Next add the bell pepper, garlic, wine and bay leafs; continue to cook an additional 10 minutes. This will cook the garlic and continue to soften the onions and celery.  Add the tomatoes, crawfish stock, and cream, reduce by 1/3 about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, add the thyme, basil and peppers.

In a separate bowl, add a chef's spoon of the sauce to the roux, blend to make a paste.  Then add another Chef's spoon to the paste, blend that in.  Now you can add small amounts of the paste to the etouffee sauce.  Using this technique, the roux will be much easier to fold into the sauce.  Once you get the thickness of the etouffee to your desired thickness.  NOTE, you might not need all of the roux paste!!  You just want to thicken the etouffee to a rich velvety consistency.  Add crawfish and lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve.

Alternate Method
Louisiana Crawfish have plenty of crawfish fat packed with them. If you choose not to use Louisiana crawfish you will have to add more crawfish stock to the recipe and simmer longer.

Plate Presentation
For family or banquet settings, use a large pasta platter and ring the platter with hot steaming white rice.


Then ladle the etouffee into the center of the rice ring. Also some chefs may wish to remove the bay leafs prior to serving. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with Louisiana Hot Sauce.



Chef's Notes: 
The white and cayenne peppers called for above are considered starting amounts. It is important to "infuse" these flavors into the dish but are probably not the total amount needed, of course the crawfish stock has much to do with these amounts. The chef should taste the final product and adjust for these seasonings.

Fresh thyme and basil maybe substituted for the dried, if so chop fine, and increase the volumes by two or three. Fresh seasonings are not as concentrated as dried.

Photos courtesy of President Pat O'Brien of WTAMU.  He missed the lecture, but cooked the etouffee from the recipe several weeks after and sent me these pics.  He also pointed out that I forgot in the Method section when to add the seasonings, which I have adjusted above, THANKS Pat!!

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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Copyright 1995 - 2011, Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 22, 2011