Cravin’ crawfish? Here’s how to fix ‘em

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 23, 2013

Crawfish in cornbread? Oh, yes.

Crawfish in cornbread? Oh, yes.

It is the time of year for crawfish boils. Families and friends spend hour after hour whipping through pounds and pounds of crawfish and its accompaniments, enjoying the company as much as the fare. All the crawfish heads and shells are coveted for the best seafood stock, and any uneaten tails head straight to the freezer to be used in étouffées and crawfish pies.

We really love crawfish étouffée, and I have being cooking it a lot here lately. Also I have tried something new this week that you might want to try and that is crawfish cornbread. It has a beautiful presentation and tastes great also. Enjoy these crawfish while they are in season and at their cheapest.

Recipes taken from ‘Louisiana Cookin’ March/April 2013.



Serves 8

1 cup unsalted butter, divided

½ red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 cup cooked crawfish tail meat

1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon salt, divided

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 cups yellow cornmeal

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 ¾ cups milk

2 tablespoon honey

1 large egg, beaten

Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven while it preheats to 450 degrees.

In a medium skillet, melt ½ cup butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper and green onions, and cook about five minutes or until softened. Stir in crawfish, ½ teaspoon salt and black and red pepper. Set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, place 7 tablespoons, and cook on high for about 45 seconds or until melted. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda and powder, and remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in milk and honey. Add melted butter and egg; stir until combined.

Carefully remove skillet from oven; add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, swirling to coat bottom and sides of pan. Pour batter into pan, and bake for 5 minutes. Top batter with crawfish mixture, and bake 10 minutes more or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.


Crawfish Étouffée

Serves 6

3 tablespoons canola oil

¼ cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, chopped

½ green bell pepper. Seeded and chopped

½ yellow green pepper, seeded and chopped

½ red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 ½ teaspoons salt

4 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon ground thyme

2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 ¾ cups seafood or chicken stock

1 cup half-and-half

1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat

1 bunch green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish

4 cups hot cooked rice

½ cup finely chopped parsley

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour, and cook about 15 minutes or until roux is the color of chocolate. Increase heat to medium; add butter and onion, and cook five minutes.

Stir in bell peppers, celery, garlic, salt, black and cayenne pepper, paprika and thyme; cook seven minutes or until vegetables are softened.

Add tomato sauce and stock; bring to a boil, and cook for three minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to a simmer; stir in half-and-half, and cook 10 minutes.

Stir in crawfish and green onion; cook 5 minutes more or until crawfish is warmed through. Serve over rice, and top with parsley. Garnish with green onion, if desired.