This is a fantastic recipe for crawfish etouffee, it is a traditional roux based etouffee recipe that does not contain any tomato. The one place that this recipe diverges from most traditional recipes is the inclusion of Dry Sack, a Spanish dry Sherry. The Sherry gives the etouffee a great base flavor that just can't be replicated with stock. You never see wine in etouffee recipes, I am betting it is the "secret ingredient" in some of the best recipes for etouffee you will find - it certainly is in mine.
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 medium sized sweet onions chopped
- 4 stalks celery chopped
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 pounds crawfish tail meat - with fat (live crawfish can be purchased from CajunGrocer.com
- 325 ML dry sack (spanish dry sherry)
- 1 cup water (you can use more or less to your preferred thickness)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon ground New Mexico Chile
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Start with a Roux - Add the oil and butter to a large sauce pan and place it over medium-low heat.
- When the oil is warm but not too hot (butter should be completely melted), start stirring in flour with the wooden spoon until the mixture is thick - about the texture of wet concrete or plaster of Paris. You can add more oil or flour until it's right.
- Stir continually with the wooden spoon over the heat so the roux cooks. The flour will gradually begin to brown. The roux can be used when the flour is light golden in color, but the darker you cook the roux, the more flavor it will add to the sauce. I usually take my roux to a chestnut color, don't cook it past a mahogany color, though.
- Stir in your garlic, onion and celery and salt and reduce your heat slightly so your Roux doesn't continue to cook - you can add a bit more olive oil if you find that the roux is sticking to the pan.
- When your onion and celery have begun to sweat, add the green and red peppers and continue to heat until all the vegetables have begun to soften.
- When the vegetables have all begun to soften, increase your heat to medium and add your crawfish, and the remaining spices, bay leaves, thyme, ground pepper, cayenne, and New Mexico chile powder.
- Stir all your ingredients together and cook, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes.
- Add the dry sack and water and stir evenly into the rest of the ingredients and stir well until roux is fully incorporated into the liquid.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding liquid as the sauce develops to your preferred thickness. After 20 minutes, remove from heat and serve.
- Serve over rice, or crumbled cornbread.