January 4, 2015

Crawfish Etouffee in the Christmas Season

Crawfish Etouffee in the Christmas Season

We are still in the Christmas Season, folks, and today we continue our #12DaysofChristmas #recipes with Crawfish Étouffée.

Yes, I missed a few days of recipe-sharing during the #12DaysofChristmas #recipes. Life, you know. Sometimes it gets in the way of our best-made plans.

The Christmas Season doesn’t officially end until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which we celebrate this year on January 11th. The 12 Days of Christmas always culminate on the traditional date for the feast of the Epiphany, which is January 6th. That feast is also frequently referred to as Kings Day. For a number of reasons – primarily so that more of the faithful can celebrate the feast – the US Catholic Bishops move the feast to a Sunday when the 6th does not fall on a Sunday. This year, 2014, we celebrate the Epiphany today, January 4th.

I admit that I am a bit of stickler when it comes to these traditional celebrations. As such, I’ll probably wait until the 6th before I make my first King Cake. 😉

Crawfish in the Christmas Season?


The crawfish season in south Louisiana starts in November and runs into June. Folks start firing up their boiling pots even before Thanksgiving, and those pots keep roaring all the way through June. There is definitely an ebb and flow when it comes to the quality of the crawfish during season. The season peaks between March and April, and the prices start to drop at that point.

Boiling crawfish is not the only way to prepare them. There are countless crawfish dishes that – thanks to the modern marvel of refrigeration – are prepared year-round. Crawfish Étouffée is probably one of the most popular. It’s easy to make, and it’s tasty and delicious.

Some other popular crawfish dishes are Crawfish Monica, Crawfish Bread, and this dish I came across a couple of years ago: Crawfish, Shrimp, and Cornbread Pie.

What Does Étouffée Mean?

Étouffée means “smothered,” which means “cooked down” in the traditional Cajun / Creole mirepoix of onions, bell peppers and celery. This combination is so prevalent in Louisiana cooking that it has been dubbed the “trinity” or the “holy trinity.”


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1pound peeled crawfish tails (with the fat)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (plus additional for serving)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions (plus additional for serving)


  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until soft and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crawfish tails and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook until the crawfish begin throwing off a little liquid, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Dissolve the flour in the water. Add to the crawfish mixture and season with salt and cayenne. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley and the green onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and serve over hot rice.