This post comes to you from my ragin Cajun bestie, Jill! For those of you who don't know Jill, here's a little sneak preview:
Jill is the eternal giver and was nice enough to bring John and me dinner on Sunday after a particularly crazy week. She ended up staying, we ended up putting back several bottles of wine, and I talked her into doing a the first ever Kitchen Ambition guest post (more to follow soon I hope!?). Jill grew up in New Orleans and is a great cajun chef so it was only appropriate that the recipe and directions come from her, not me. So, without further ado, I give you, in her own words:
Jill's Crawfish Etouffee
Any cajun cook will tell you that a staple in the Bayou diet is etouffee. French for "smothered in," Etouffee, can be served a variety of ways with different types of shellfish or chicken.
For this particular cajun creole salavatory journey, I chose crawfish. I can't think of anything better on a chilly rainy day, then eating, drinking, laughing and telling lies with your besties over a bowl of Crawfish Etouffee. Cooked with a lot of love and flavor, this dish is a winner. This dish is lighter then a chili, but not as brothy as a soup. It serves to fill the stomach and satisfy the taste buds. This dish traditionally has a little or a lot of spicy kick, so if you are ready to go big, clear up those sinuses, or tackling the change of seasons, then you are ready to step into the shoes of those great Cajun cooks before you where their spice matches their own personal pizzazz!
While there are many distinctions to New Orleans people, cuisine and tradition, there is also a uniqueness in the way that they cook. . . . . they always cook "just until it tastes good." You can chop and dice and shimmy and shake seasonings and vegetables until it is just right. With a basic stock pile of classic ingredients, you cannot mess it up. With many Louisiana dishes, the classic ingredients/base, also called the Holy Trinity, are onions, bell peppers and celery. Mix the ingredients below, and Laissez les bons temps roulex! Let the good times roll!
Serve over white rice and with sweet cornbread muffins. Possible accompaniments can be green onion toppers and Tobasco. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers to this flavor explosion, try eating over crackers for a light app. WIth any roux based dish, the flavor always intensifies the next day. You may also serve etouffee with cheese grits or brown rice. It can be served as an appetizer, side dish or entree. Enjoy!
Medium size yellow onion
Green Bell Pepper
4 stalks of celery
1 lb of crawish tails (peeled)
I can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
a few tablespoons of butter
Old Bay Seasonings
2 bay leaves
5-7 cloves of garlic
several dashes of cayenne pepper
Tony Chacere's cajun seasonings
Saute the chopped onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic with the butter on low until the vegetables are soft. . . about 20 minutes.
Add the Cream of Mushroom soup, seasonsings, and crawfish. Simmer for about another 20 minutes. Cook to flavor and voila!
Serve over white rice. Serves 4.