From the pages of the Cajun and Creole bibles come Oil Platform Crawfish Etouffee with Royal Reds. A Nail Travels family favorite, this delicious tomato-based slather can be made from nearly any shellfish and is best served over rice or grits, and sopped up with warm French bread. The dish employs a technique known as smothering, popular in southwest Louisiana. Étouffée is most popular in the Acadiana area of southern Louisiana, as well as coastal Mississippi and Alabama. This recipe comes from the relatives in Alabama who love football, guns, and fishing cabins. As a matter of fact, that’s describes many of my cousins in Alabama.
Johnny was always one of my crazier cousins, but my father’s side of the family always had the monopoly on that. There’s plenty of colorful characters buried in that red dirt. His family’s home was the first place I ever used a shotgun. I kept that cardboard lid under my bed for years. My first turkey. Johnny was a cook on an oil platform for years before he moved upstairs. From a family of “excitable” Alabama fans, nowadays he and his posse bring a spread to the capstone that surely represents the Crimson Tide. This recipe was passed from him to my father and now it falls to you, kind stranger.
Whatchew Know Bout Gulf Shrimp?
1. White Shrimp (Penaeus setiferus): Being about 35% of the domestic catch, this is our most commercially important species.
2. Pink Shrimp (Penaeus duorarum): Sweet and tender, they are just a little larger than the White Shrimp.
3. Brown Shrimp (Penaeus aztecus): Mostly from the salt marsh and sea grass areas during the summer months. Mostly. They represent 55% of our domestic catch.
4. Royal Reds (Pleoticus robustus or Hymenopenaeus robustus): From the deepest waters of the Gulf, they are large and brilliant crimson red or pink.
I enjoy flea market shrimp as much as the next guy, but there’s something special about Florida pinks or Royal Reds. My parents picked up some Royal Reds while meandering along the Redneck Riviera recently, no doubt spending inheritance. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have any Royal Red around, because most folks will never know how good they are. This etouffee has crawfish and andouille sausage, so you’re going to come out on top no matter what you add. If you love pork as much as we do, add some bacon and breakfast sausage for flavor.
Visit this recipe for Dog River Gumeaux to see tips and tricks for making a solid roux. This recipe cooks the flour in oil, but butter works well and nothing is better than bacon grease. It makes life taste better.
- 2 Garlic cloves chopped
- 2 Large onions chopped
- 2 Bell pepper chopped
- 2 Jalepeno peppers chopped (not in the original recipe, but Nail Travels is like that)
- 2 Celery stalks chopped
- 1 Can cream of mushroom (right?)
- 1 Can rotel tomatoes
- 1-2 Cans tomato sauce (more tomato or more brown, you decide)
- 2-3 lbs crawfish tails
- salt and pepper
- chicken broth
- hot sauce
- red wine
- brown gravy maker (maybe, it's up to you. it does make it look pretty)
- Saute sausage until crisp. Saute vegetables on medium (in oil, butter, or oleo, depending on your tastes) for ten minutes. Maybe the jalapenos a little longer. Add your spices as early as possible because most spices are supposed to be cooked to release their flavor. Add roux and allow to mix.
- Add all cans and bring to a simmer
- Add hot sauce, red wine, parsley, s&p, and broth as needed. Etouffee is usually thin and soupy.
- Add sausage and crawfish.
- serve over rice
In southern cooking circles, the use of onions, bell pepper, and celery is referred to as the “Trinity”. With the inclusion of jalapeno pepper, we are introduced to the “Four Horsemen”. Is it fair that we continue to add garlic to this without fanfare? By adding garlic we are looking for something that symbolizes the five. What are there five of in the bible? What happens if we substitute poblano peppers for bell peppers? Who cares? But it is a fantastic idea.
— Jason Nail (@NailTravels) June 14, 2016
What are there five of in the bible?