We're coming up on a year since the Hurrican Katrina disaster, so I thought I would start featuring some recipes from the bayou. New Orleans actually just south of proper Cajun country, but the cuisine has spread all over the state and into my great state of Texas. One of my favorite cajun dishes is Crawfish Etouffe (EH-too-FAY). There's a Texas/Cajun restaurant near where I live that serves a terrific crawfish etouffee, so good that it's my "usual."
Crawfish are small crustaceans that live in fresh water. Well, fresh isn't usually the most correct term. These tiny cousins of the lobster are often termed "mudbugs" as they usually live in dirty, muddy water. They are shellfish, but they have a very unique scent and flavor to them. It's unlike anything else. And I love that smell. It's hard to fine fresh crawfish tails in my part of Texas, but you can usually get them frozen in a vacuum-sealed pack.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until it starts to sizzle. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until slightly soft. Add the crawfish fat, salt, and Tabasco, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occaisionally.
Add the crawfish tails, lemon juice, and parsely. Cook another 5 minutes to heat the tails through. Serve hot over rice and sprinkle the green onions on top.
Note: If you are using frozen crawfish tails, you can obtain the fat by draining the tails and reserving the liquid. That liquid that runs off is the fat. If you don't have any crawfish fat, you could use some bacon drippings or just add some extra butter.