Tag Archives: crawfish

Gumbo is LOVE

There are many different versions of gumbo and each family or chef has their favorite.  For some, it’s not gumbo if it doesn’t have okra. For others, it simply must have file, also a thickener. File can get stringy if you heat it too much.  The roux not only thickens, but it adds a wonderful, nutty flavor and gives the gumbo a gorgeous, deep brown color.

You can use any seafood you like or chicken, but the trinity (the onions, celery and peppers) and the roux are essential. How much cayenne you use will likely depend on how spicy your Andouille sausage  is.  The amount of pepper in this recipe is considered perfect for ALL – adjust the heat to your liking in your own bowl.   My dad always said, if  your brow doesn’t sweat, it’s not hot enough – I tend to agree!

2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery

Seasoning Mix:
2 whole bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

3/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 1/2 cups Basic Seafood or Chicken Stock (can substitute oyster liquor)
1 pound Andouille smoked sausage (preferred) or any other good pure smoked pork sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound peeled medium shrimp
1 dozen medium oysters in their liquor, about 9 ounces
3/4 pound crabmeat (picked over) or crawfish – I also like a few crab claws in my seafood gumbo.

Optional:  You can, instead of seafood, use chicken. Chicken and Sausage gumbo is very savory and just as delicious.

Hot cooked rice

Frozen chopped Okra

Tabasco, File, Cayenne Pepper – have these on the table for personal use

Chop the onions, bell peppers and celery and set aside. In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix ingredients; mix well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy iron skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the flour, whisking constantly with a long-handled metal whisk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown to black, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin. Making the roux is where you want to be super patient.  DO NOT WALK AWAY.

While the roux is cooking or the day before; cook your chicken and stock. First, season your chicken parts generously with salt, black pepper and Cayenne. Place the chicken parts in a large pot with quartered onions, 2 carrots, quartered celery, 2 bay leaves and 8 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.

Take the chicken out of the pot and when it’s cool, remove the fat and pick the meat off the bones and cut into pieces. When the broth is cool, strain and throw out the vegetables. You should have about 8 quarts stock.

This is where my gumbo technique differs from others:  I like to sauté my sausage in a separate iron skillet (not the same one I cooked the roux in) and stir in the seasoning mix and continue cooking about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. I believe this process brings out the flavors of the seasonings better.  Add the garlic; stir well, then cook and stir about 1 minute more.  Remove the sausage and ‘goodness’ from the skillet – add to the stock pot.  Add the vegetables to the same skillet you cooked the roux in.  The vegetables will cool it down quickly, but also help make your roux dark.  Stir well (switch to a spoon if necessary). Continue stirring and cooking until vegetables are just right. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, place the stock in a 5 1/2-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Add roux and vegetables by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Bring mixture to a boil. Add the andouille; return to a boil; continue boiling 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes more. Add the shrimp, undrained oysters and crabmeat – or chicken. Return to a boil over high heat, for 2 minutes ONLY – stirring occasionally. Immediately remove from heat and add 2-4 cups frozen cut okra.  Skim any oil from the surface.

To serve as a main course, mound 1/2 cup rice in the middle of each serving bowl. Spoon 1 cup gumbo over the top, making sure each person gets an assortment of the seafood and Andouille. Serve half this amount in a cup as an appetizer.



Filed under Autumn, Celebration, Chicken, Entree, Fish / Seafood, Holiday, Louisiana / Cajun, rice, shrimp, Side Dishes / Vegetables, Soup, Winter

Crawfish Delight – A new dish we tried for the holiday and it was a hit!

Every year at Christmas and Thanksgiving, we add one new dish to the menu, and the family voted that this one is a winner! 

  • 1 – 8 ounce Cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lb. Crawfish tails (I used 1 lb. crawfish and 1 lb. shrimp.  Chicken would also be delicious.)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • garlic to taste
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (If you are not a fan of canned soups, see substitution below.)
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups grated cheese (you choose what kind you want – I used cheddar.)
  • 1 can fried onion rings
  • 1 – 8 ounce jar mushrooms

Melt the stick of butter and cream cheese together.  In another skillet saute onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add crawfish, shrimp, or chicken.  Now add the mushroom soup and cooked rice.  Stir in red and black pepper.  Add the cream cheese and butter to the crawfish mixture.  Stir and check seasonings.  Put in a casserole dish and top with grated cheese and fried onion rings.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Serves 8 – 10.

If you are not a fan of canned soups, you can use the recipe below as a substitute.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil; 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced; 8 ounces white mushrooms, rinsed and sliced; 1 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt; 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder; 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; 1/2 cup chicken broth; 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped; 1/2 cup sour cream.  Directions:  Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, mushrooms, salt, garlic, and pepper and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and thyme and cook until almost all the liquid is evaporated, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sour cream, and toss to combine.

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Filed under Autumn, Celebration, Chicken, Entree, Fish / Seafood, Holiday, Louisiana / Cajun, rice, Winter

Louisiana Crawfish Cakes

crawfish-cakes-sl-257689-lI first had these crawfish cakes at Old Waverly Country Club in West Point, Mississippi.  People would come for all around for these crawfish cakes.  They are delicious.

 30 cakes, 2oz each

 4 lb crawfish tail meat

2 red and green peppers, diced very small

1 onion, diced small

8 oz Dijon mustard

4 oz white wine  –  The wine makes the difference.  Trust me!

2 oz Worcestershire sauce

4 oz hot pepper sauce – Tabasco

8 eggs

Breadcrumbs as needed

Combine all ingredients and form into 2oz size patties.  If you want to make larger one, you can have crawfish cake sandwiches.

Bread each cake in flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.  Deep fry 350 degrees.  

You can dip them in remoulade sauce, coctail sauce, or a good horseradish sauce.

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Crawfish Étouffée – The perfect comfort food!

crawfish-etouffeeThis recipe is better made the day before or early in the morning. I usually double the recipe because our children like to share with their friends.  We make this so often, I don’t have to look at the recipe any longer; I know it by heart!

The usual staple of an étouffée is seafood i.e. crawfish, shrimp, or crabmeat.

The base of an étouffée is a dark brown roux. It is usually seasoned with onions, green bell pepper and celery (a.k.a. the holy trinity), cayenne pepper, garlic, and salt and has a thicker consistency than gumbo. There is typically no tomato in this dish. Most purists believe that once tomatoes are added, the dish ceases to be a true étouffée, and instead becomes a stew or a creole dish.

2 sticks butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
Tabasco to taste
2 cups water
2 pounds crawfish tails (sold in the freezer section in 1 pound bags)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup minced parsley, fresh

Make a walnut-colored roux with 1 stick butter and flour. Add green onions, yellow onions, garlic, green pepper, celery, bay leaf, thyme, basil, and the remaining butter. Saute, uncovered, over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add white pepper, salt, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Turn off fire. Add crawfish tails (if frozen, do not thaw), lemon juice, lemon rind, and parsley. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Heat quickly, without boiling, and serve immediately over steamed rice.

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Filed under Celebration, Chicken, Entree, Fish / Seafood, Holiday, Louisiana / Cajun, rice

Yia Yia’s Mouth Watering Crawfish Pasta

crawfish-pastaThis is a secret family recipe that is frequently requested for birthday dinners and special occasions. Delicious!  You may use shrimp or chicken instead of crawfish and I usually double this recipe.



8oz. Linguini

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup flour

Make a light roux with the butter and flour.

Add: 1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced – If you double the recipe, don’t double the garlic.
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
Cook in the roux for 5 minutes.

Add:1 chicken bullion cube or 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 pint whipping cream (I know what you are thinking; whipping cream is so fattening! You can play with something less fattening, if you want. If you do use something less creamy and crawfish, you may want to add a little squirt of lemon to the dish.)
1 – 2 lbs. crawfish tails, shrimp, or chicken
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
Tabasco to taste
Cook for approximately 10 minutes until thick. If mixture gets too thick, thin out with pasta water.

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Filed under Celebration, Chicken, Entree, Fish / Seafood, Holiday, Louisiana / Cajun, Pasta