Baby its cold outside and I’m ready for some heat. So this big mama is pointing my cookin’ compass to ‘Nawlins baby!

FoodieCrush Lobster Etouffee

My first intro to real New Orleans cooking was years ago thanks to my little sister and bro-in-law, both oil execs who were working just outside New Orleans, who had invited us for a visit and our first Jazz Festival excursion—which if you haven’t experienced is a bucket list must do if only to try Crawfish bread. That’s all it took to become big fans of the little suckers.

A couple of years later, and after a transfer to Houston, bro-in-law treated us to another crawfish tastey, his recipe for Crawfish Etouffee. To some cooks, this dish seems out-of-your-league-fancy just by looking at the spelling of its name, what with it’s double ff’s and ee’s and sounding all French and haute.

But here’s the secret: it isn’t fancy, or hard. It’s just good. Spicy and good.

FoodieCrush Lobster Etouffeephoto > FoodieCrush

So when G and I were recently perusing the lovely aisles of Au Costco, we jumped at the seafood bait when we discovered langostinos in the seafood case.

No they weren’t fresh crawdads like you’d find on the coast, but any quality frozen nugget of the sweet crustacean style is all this recipe needs. So use what you can find: crawfish, shrimp or like us, little lobster longostinos.
This recipe is spiced up with Cajun seasoning and a variety of peppers, so depending on your love of heat, add or minus to your heart’s content. We serve it over steamed rice cooked with 2 bay leaves added to the water for a little flavor boost plus crusty french bread slathered with salty sweet butter for sopping up every nugget of goodness.

And another perk? This is a one-pot meal (if you don’t count the accompanying rice) so dinner will be on the table within an hour and clean up is a cinch.

Lobster Etouffee
 
Ingredients
  • adapted from Paula Deen and Emeril Lagassee
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup butter plus 4 tablespoons butter reserved
  • ½ cup flour, plus extra flour as needed to form a paste
  • 1½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning or to taste
  • 3-5 dashes hot sauce or to taste
  • 1 8-ounce jar clam juice
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound or 4 cups langostinos (can substitute crawfish or shrimp)
  • ½ cup minced green onions, plus extra for garnish
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Instructions
  1. 1. To make the roux, melt butter with oil in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk flour into the oil to form a paste and cooking over low heat and whisk continuously, until the mixture turns a caramel color and gives off a nutty aroma, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic and cook over low heat until the vegetables are limp, about 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, green onions, parsley, and hot sauce to taste. Add clam juice, chicken broth, tomatoes with their juice and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until mixture thickens.
  4. 4. Add lobster meat and cook for 3-5 minutes careful not to overcook. Remove from heat and add the 4 tablespoons reserved butter and stir to melt. Garnish with the green onions, parsley and serve over steamed rice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 8

But, since we’re always on the lookout for more spicy sweet shellfish recipes, I figured you would be too. Whoa, don’t lose your head, but you’re about to become a very, very happy cook. Enjoy!

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