Category Archives: Seafood

Crawfish Etouffee’

If you grew up in southern Louisiana as I did, crawfish etouffee is a traditional dish that is prepared fairly often – especially during crawfish season (which generally runs from January through May or June).  Any Cajun cookbook you come across will have some version of the recipe and I’m sure people would love to debate what makes a true etouffee.

I spotted this recipe on Facebook a while back and have made it several times.  I have to say, it’s my favorite etouffee recipe I’ve come across.  It is creamy and the flavors are just on point.  It uses some unusual ingredients but it comes together to create pure magic.  In the recipe I will post, I’ve scaled back on some of the seasonings because we generally use crawfish leftover from a boil, which are already pretty well seasoned.  My husband made this once using those crawfish and the full seasonings and whew!  I was “glistening” while eating it!  So just give it a taste test and if you feel like it needs more seasoning, just add a little more of the steak seasoning or some cayenne powder (which it calls for but I leave out).

**A couple of notes:  It seems strange to put steak seasoning in but trust me, it makes a great flavor profile!  Also do not use a straight cast iron pot as it will discolor the crawfish.  Enameled cast iron is what I use.

crawfish etouffee

Crawfish Etouffee
Recipe adapted from Lou Wanna Parra on Facebook

Ingredients:

2 lbs Peeled Crawfish (Do not rinse crawfish, leave fat on)
1 stick Butter
1 Onion (Minced)
1 tsp Minced Garlic
2 stalks Celery (Chopped)
1/2 Bell Pepper (Chopped) (Optional)
3/4 Capful Liquid Crab Boil (small bottle size)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1.5 Tbsp Texjoy Steak Seasoning (this sounds strange but trust me!)
Dash of Salt, Black Pepper
1 Can (10.5 oz) Golden Mushroom Soup
1 Can (10.5 oz) Cream of Celery Soup
1 Capful of Kitchen Bouquet (small bottle size)
Parsley Flakes
1/2 to 1 Soup Can of Water

Method:

In a 5 qt. pot, place your stick of butter, then on top add the onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper.  Top with the peeled crawfish (you’re supposed to make a pyramid but that doesn’t seem to work for me so don’t sweat it).  Add the liquid crab boil, garlic powder, TexJoy seasoning, salt and black pepper on top of the “pyramid”.  Don’t stir it yet.  Place the lid on top and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft.  Once they are softened, stir well, then add the mushroom soup and celery soup, plus the water.  Stir well to incorporate ingredients.  Add the Kitchen Bouquet and stir in well until evenly blended.

Cover and simmer over low heat at least ten minutes.  Serve warm over rice.

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Usually when I make corn and shrimp soup, I make my grandma’s recipe.  It’s what I grew up eating and it’s comfort in a bowl.  However, while at my parents’ house recently, my dad made some corn and shrimp soup, though I found it to be more of a chowder so that’s what I’ll call it.

I’m not sure where the recipe came from, I think it might be from my parents’ friend Tracy.  Whoever created it needs a round of applause though because it is fantastic.  It comes together really easily, making it a perfect weeknight dinner on a cold rainy (or dare I say, snowy?) night.  The amount of shrimp added can be to your tastes, and your budget – though I will say the more the merrier!

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Ingredients:
1 stick butter
2 onions, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 ribs celery, chopped
chicken broth or stock (one to two cans, depending on desired thickness)
1 can Rotel original tomatoes, drained
1 can cream-style corn2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 bunch of green onions, tops and bottoms, sliced separately
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 (8 oz.) block Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1-2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt, pepper and Tony’s Creole seasoning, to taste

Method:

In a large pot, melt the stick of butter, then saute’ the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and green onion bottoms until soft.  Add all of the canned ingredients, cooking over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often (very important – cream style corn will stick and BURN!).  Add cream cheese and whisk until melted through, stir in the shrimp, green onion tops (reserve some for garnish) and seasonings and let cook for 10 more minutes.  Remove from heat and serve garnished with additional green onions.

Easy Oven Jambalaya

A while back my coworker Kim had the misfortune of her freezer messing up.  She had to quickly cook a lot of the meat she had frozen and one of the things she cooked was this easy oven jambalaya.  She brought some to work for our lunch the next day and it was SO good!  She gave me the recipe and I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve made it since.  My husband is always asking for it, even my picky daughter loves it!

The recipe calls for Uncle Ben’s original rice.  Make sure to get that, Kim said that it does make a difference!  The ingredients do sound a bit strange for a jambalaya but trust me, this is one of the best jambalayas I’ve ever had!  You can be creative with your proteins also.  While jambalaya does typically contain chicken and sausage, shrimp would be delicious and so would crawfish (I know because I did it!).

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya
Recipe from the Barth/Cutrera Family

Ingredients:
1 can French Onion Soup
1 can beef broth
1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup green onions
2 cups Uncle Ben’s Original uncooked rice
1 tbsp minced garlic
Tony’s Creole seasoning and thyme to taste
1 lb. boneless diced chicken and sliced smoked sausage (or shrimp, or crawfish)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients.  Pour into an oven-safe casserole that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Cover with foil and bake for an hour and a half.

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Seared Scallops with White Beans and Spinach

I’m really lucky in love. I have the man of my dreams and luckily for me, he is an adventurous eater. A lot of people won’t try new things but both of us like to. I’m always seeing pictures of scallops and they look so good but I was always scared. I finally decided to get over it and just try a recipe.

Before cooking, I did a little research that told me that scallops need to be dry before cooking. They emit a lot of water, particularly previously frozen kind, which is what I used. I thawed them, rinsed and patted dry, then I set a little stack of paper towels on a plate, placed scallops on it, put more towels on top with another plate sitting on top to push some of that water out. Worked perfectly and the scallops got a nice sear. We really loved this dish, I’m going to be making it again soon, and maybe trying some other recipes as well.

Seared Scallops with White Beans and Spinach

Seared Scallops with White Beans and Spinach

Seared Scallops with White Beans and Spinach
Recipe from Women’s Health

Ingredients:
2 strips bacon, chopped into pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans white beans (cannellini or Great Northern), rinsed and drained
4 cups baby spinach
1 lb. large sea scallops
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
juice of 1 lemon

Method:

In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon over low heat. Once crisp, add the onion and garlic, cook until softened. Add the beans and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Keep warm.

Over medium-high heat, heat a large cast-iron skillet. Blot your scallops dry with a paper towel and season on each side. Add the butter to the pan and sear the scallops on each side, about three minutes each until they have a nice caramelized crust.

Add the lemon juice to the beans and serve topped with scallops.

Shrimp Butter

I was recently one of the hosts for a baby shower for one of my best friends, Morgan.  I was in charge of food, really it was just snacks since it was mid-day.  I wanted the food to be a little “nicer” than the done-to-death cheese trays and frozen and defrosted appetizers.  Morgan loves shrimp so when I saw a recipe for shrimp butter, I was intrigued and knew she would like it.

I had no idea what this would taste like, so it was a bit of a gamble making it for the first time to serve to a bunch of people.  But it was great, and it tasted just like what it is – butter with shrimp in it.  I know that doesn’t SOUND good, but trust me.  It was good stuff!

Shrimp Butter

Shrimp Butter
Recipe from Elizabeth’s Edible Experience

Ingredients:
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 pound shrimp, peeled, cooked and finely chopped
3 tbsp grated onion
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper

Method:

In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy and well-mixed.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until combined.  Serve either on pieces of toast points or in a bowl for people to serve themselves.  (Note:  don’t use butter crackers, as they mask the flavor too much.  I used Melba Toast.)

Crawfish Etouffee

Happy 200th Birthday, Louisiana!  I’m truly proud to live in this great state.  Sure, it gets a bad rep sometimes but the residents know better.  In honor of this monumental birthday, my post today is a classic Louisiana dish, crawfish etouffee.

Crawfish Etouffee

Last week we had a crawfish boil, and I always look forward to cooking something yummy with the leftover crawfish tails.  Unfortunately, we were all piggies and I only had about a cup of leftover tails!  I needed something that could stretch so I went to the classic dish, Crawfish Etouffee.  Somehow, despite eating it millions of times, I had never made it myself.  I looked through some of my favorite Southern cookbooks for the perfect recipe and found it in My New Orleans by John Besh.

Chef John Besh with James

Chef Besh is one of my husband’s favorite chefs.  We were fortunate enough to meet him at a food blogger conference last year and I must say he is the most down-to-earth nice guy, we just loved him.  He even took a few minutes to talk hunting with James!  His recipe was pretty easy to make and the end results were great.  We ate some over white rice and some over some leftover fried catfish.  If you’re using leftover boiled crawfish, save the seasoning until the end because your tails might already be spicy.  I also added a little cornstarch mixed with cold water in for thickening, as James likes his etouffee to be fairly thick.  Next time you find yourself with some crawfish tails, here’s the one to try!

Crawfish Etouffee
Recipe adapted from My New Orleans

Ingredients:
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp flour
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
half a red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
1 quart seafood stock
3 tbsp butter
1 lb. peeled crawfish tails (or however many you have!)
2 green onions, chopped
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
salt, pepper and creole seasoning to taste
white rice for serving
cornstarch for thickening, if needed

Method:
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the flour to make the roux and stir constantly so it doesn’t stick or burn.  You want the roux to reach a deep brown color, similar to a paper bag.  (A silicone spatula works great for reaching in the corners of the pan.)   Once the roux is browned, add your onions and cook until they have softened and caramelized.  Next add in the celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, cayenne and paprika – cook until soft and fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and seafood stock to break up the roux and increase the heat to bring it to a boil.  Once it’s reached a boil, decrease the heat and let simmer for five minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t stick.

Lower the heat and stir in the butter, then the crawfish tails, green onions, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.  Taste for seasonings, then season with salt, pepper and creole seasoning as desired.  If you want your etouffee to be thicker, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a small amount of cold water and add it to the pot, then increase the heat.

Once done, remove from heat and serve hot over rice.

Louisiana Crawfish Boil

Lightened Up Crawfish Fettuccine

As you probably read in my last post, my brother-in-law (hubby’s brother) is getting married soon and last weekend was the bachelor/bachelorette party.  The guys went to Dallas for some surprisingly tame fun (or so they say – wink, wink).  Us girls stayed here in town and did a painting class then had a lingerie shower for the bride at my house.  When I started planning out the food for the shower, I was looking at it as a big chance to cheat on my diet.

But for once, I’m doing really well on this diet.  I mean hey, it’s February 1 and I’m still ON IT!  That’s a record breaker right there!  I stuck with the basic bones of the menu, but looked for lightened up versions of the recipes.  The recipe I found for crawfish fettuccine was fantastic, a few of the guests at the shower were feeling guilty for getting seconds, until I told them that it was a lower-calorie version.  Nobody could believe it.  So if you’re looking for a nice dish to celebrate a special occasion, or just because it’s a Friday, then here ya go.  I think this would be equally delicious with cooked shrimp or chicken as the protein.

Crawfish Fettuccine

Crawfish Fettuccine
Recipe from The New Holly Clegg Trim and Terrific Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 lb fettuccine pasta, cooked and rinsed under cool water
1 lb. crawfish tails, rinsed
1/4 cup margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 cups skim milk
1.5 lb. light Velveeta
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large pot, melt the margarine and saute’ the onion, bell pepper and garlic until tender, about five minutes.  Stir in the flour until mixed and allow to cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.  Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring until smooth.  Add the cheese, stirring until evenly melted and then add the crawfish, parsley, salt, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Taste for seasonings then add the pasta, tossing to coat.   Transfer to a baking dish coated with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Serve immediately.

8-10 servings at 378 calories each.