Growing up in a Cajun family meant always having the yummiest foods at my fingertips: pork jambalaya, seafood gumbo, deer sauce piquante, fried frog legs—you name it, we ate it. But for as long as I can remember, my favorite dish, hands down, was my Pappy’s Crawfish Étouffée. Cooking is my grandfather’s love language, which might be why he’s better at it than anyone I know. He’ll spend hours in the kitchen, slowly preparing the étouffée—or whatever he’s whipping up—to perfection. He makes a big pot of the stewy goodness every year for Christmas and sometimes, just because we (my parents, brothers, and I) are in town. The delicious smell of butter and onions wafting through the whole house serves as the heartiest of welcomes. Needless to say, I never stop at one bowl.
Within a month of our first date, Scott surprised me one evening with his home-cooked version of my favorite meal (the recipe of which he got from my brother)—and since then, we have enjoyed it for dinner at least once every couple of months, regardless of season. In our opinion, bad-weather days are perfect for cookin’ up some good ol’ étouffée for two. Make yourself a heaping bowl of the delicious Cajun delicacy and cuddle up to a movie on the couch for a rainy-day date that will never get old.
Sound like your idea of a lovely evening? Keep scrolling for our family recipe of the best étouffée you’ll ever eat. 😉
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- ½ package frozen okra, thawed (optional)
- 1 (5.5 oz.) can Spicy V8 juice
- 1 (10 oz.) can Rotel
- 2 lbs. frozen packaged Louisiana crawfish tails, thawed*
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. paprika
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
In a Dutch oven or Magnalite pot, sauté the onion, bell peppers, poblano, and garlic in butter until golden brown.
When the veggies are fragrant, stir in the chopped okra, can of Spicy V8 and the Rotel. Bring to a soft boil and simmer on low-medium heat for 20 minutes.
While that’s cooking, drain the juice from the crawfish tails, rinse, and season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Add the crawfish to the pot and let simmer for an hour or so, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
Just before serving, stir cornstarch into étouffée to thicken. Ladle over rice.
Co-Founder & Editor | Emily graduated from the University of Texas in December 2013 with a degree in English and journalism under her belt. She currently lives with her husband in Frisco, where she works for a chiropractor and moonlights as a lifestyle blogger. On any given day, you can find her hanging out at a quiet coffee shop, nose-deep in a good mystery novel or snapping photos of her extra frothy cappuccino.