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Three rich, buttery crawfish recipes to celebrate Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday. However, in many cities around the world, Mardi Gras is marked as a season with many parades, feasts and family gatherings. 

To celebrate, try out these three new crawfish recipes, including crawfish pies, etouffee and a potato-filled Cajun dish.

Depending on your location, crawfish can be purchased fresh, frozen or online for shipping directly to you.


Individual Crawfish Pies 
Makes: 16 pies

Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds peeled crawfish tails
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 to 5 drops Worcestershire sauce
16 prepared mini pie crusts

Instructions
In a heavy cast iron pot, melt the butter over low heat and add flour. Cook and stir over low heat for 10 minutes or longer, but do not allow to brown. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes or so.

Add crawfish, scallions, chicken broth, Creole seasoning, cayenne and Worcestershire. Cover pot and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often to make sure mixture doesn't stick and most of the liquid has thickened. Check seasonings and add some hot sauce if you want a little heat. Let crawfish mixture cool for 15 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees. Place pie crusts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with crawfish mixture. Return to oven for 15 to 18 minutes until pie crusts are browned. Serve.


Crawfish Etouffee
Etouffee is a spicy Cajun stew made with vegetables and seafood. The word comes from the French étouffer, which means to smother. In this case, the crawfish mixture smothers the rice for an excellent main course. This recipe comes courtesy of Sheila Darjean, of St. Landry's Parish.

Serves: 6

Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups water
2 pounds peeled crawfish tails
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions
Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, scallions and parsley and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, but not brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add 1 3/4 cup of the water, along with the crawfish, salt, cayenne and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup water and add it to the crawfish mixture, stirring until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.


Cajun Crawfish Potatoes
This recipe was published in Louisiana Cookin' magazine (March/April 2014) from a contribution by Dana Bergeron of Morganza, Louisiana.

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 pound shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 pound peeled crawfish tails

Instructions
Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and cook until tender. Set aside.

In a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, evenly distribute one layer of potato slices, reserving remaining slices. Season with garlic salt and black pepper. Cover lightly with a layer of cheese. Repeat layers using all potato slices. Pour cream over potato mixture. Spread reserved onion mixture evenly over potato mixture, and top with crawfish tails. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and cook until bubbly, about 15 more minutes.

Want more? Find all of Southern Kitchen's crawfish recipes here

Photo credit (hero): jpellgen/Flickr (license)


Author image

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. You can contact her at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.

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