Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mmmm...a Little Taste of New Orleans

It has been at least 9 years since I've visited the Crescent City, but I can still remember the spectacular food of the French Quarter and beyond. Crawfish boils, red beans and rice, po-boys...holy yum! Gumbo, crawfish etoufee, bring it on! Now there are other great things about New Orleans, like the culture, the music, the people, etc., but the cuisine is definitely a highlight.

For the past year, my brother has been spending a lot of time in NOLA. You see, he is an architect, and has dedicated a huge part of his time working with teams to rebuild the lower 9 as well as parts of Biloxi. He spent some time living in a small apartment there for weeks at a time, and not only learned the great places to go from the "locals", but learned a few tricks in cooking the cajun cuisine himself. So, this past holiday weekend, he cooked us up a little treat during his visit. My favorite...crawfish etoufee!

While he based his proportions from a recipe off Allrecipes.com, he said he really learned this dish from a friend while he was staying in New Orleans. Whatever it was, he hit it spot on!

IMG_2051

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional - we used it)
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning (we used Old Bay)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1 pound medium shrimp - peeled and deveined (He used 2 lbs crawfish tails in lieu of the shrimp)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Gradually stir in flour, and stir constantly until the mixture turns 'peanut butter' brown or darker, at least 15 or 20 minutes. I use a large fork with the flat side to the bottom of the pan in a side to side motion. This is your base sauce or 'Roux'. It is very important to stir this constantly. If by chance the roux burns, discard and start over.
  2. Once the roux is browned, add the onions, garlic, celery and bell pepper to the skillet, and saute for about 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and fish stock, and season with the seafood seasoning. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Season the sauce with hot pepper sauce and cayenne pepper (if using), and add the crawfish and shrimp. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque.

We enjoyed this with the Claiborne and Churchill Dry Riesling and it was absolutely perfect! I really love their dry Gewurztraminer, but the riesling was great as well.

7 comments:

Sharon said...

Ahh, I love Cajun food and this looks delicious. I stopped through NOLA once during college spring break. Sadly, we were not focused on food back in those days so I didn't get to sample all the goodies!

LucyinStLou said...

We're visiting NOLA for the first time in February. I am so excited to try some of the food!

noble pig said...

What brand seafood seasoning do you use?

Mo said...

Noble Pig- He used the Old Bay seafood seasoning. I will edit the recipe to add that. Also, we like things spicy, so he added the optional cayenne pepper.

biz319 said...

I am not a huge fan of crawfish, but maybe I can leave that out?

Looks good though!

Kelly said...

Mmmm that looks so comforting. i have sadly never been to NOLA, which given everything that has gone on there is quite disapointing, but seeing your dish makes me want to go. I've heard that the food there is quite amazing.

Andrea said...

Aaaaahhhhh!!!! New Orleans is my favorite city in the WHOLE WORLD!!! (at least of what I've seen of the world...) And, my husband and I are architects!!! Sounds like we'd have a lot in common with your bro...we try to get to NOLA at least once a year, there is something about that city that draws us to it. Indescribable, and amazing.