|The classic start to the best Cajun dishes.|
There may not be a more debatable topic in Creole coking than the infamous roux. Each Southern chef has a different opinion on which is the best technique, color, and flavor. There are a myriad of roux varieties ranging from a "white roux" to the "brick" version and everything in between, blonde, brown, peanut butter or chocolate. Each imparts a different hue, thickening power, and distinctive nutty flavor to your dish. Making a roux is easy, burning it is easier, and mastering it is an art form.
The roux calls for 2 simple ingredients: flour and any type of fat. The choice in fat is yours, but the traditional French recipe calls for butter. Southerners use bacon grease, lard, clarified butter, any meat fat or oil for their roux. The French use an equal ratio of fat to flour. For my roux I use a blend of fats at the ratio of 2:1 (butter/bacon grease to flour) and prefer the peanut butter hue, but again the choice is always yours. The best part of making a roux is that you can experiment and create a secret recipe which makes all your dishes unique to you.
|Ryan stirring the pot.|
MiddleBar Crawfish Etouffee
1 lb boiled crawfish (Thanks Ryan)
1 red bell pepper (green is traditional but I hate green bell pepper)
1 small yellow onion diced
2 ribs celery diced
1 can rotel diced tomatoes
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 sprigs of thyme whole on stem
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tbs tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp bacon fat
1 tsp worcestershire
2 cans chicken stock (fresh stock if you have it)
1/2 cup water
Tony Casherie's Original Creole Seasoning, salt, pepper (about 1 tsp-1tbs depending on the saltiness of your crawfish so add seasoning as necessary)
1 large cast iron skillet
First you make a roux by melting the bacon fat, butter adding the flour and stirring until the roux takes on a nice peanut butter color. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper, salt, pepper and Tony's and saute in the roux until soft. Add garlic, rotel, worcestershire, chicken stock, water, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 20-25 minutes. Remove the lid, add crawfish, and simmer for 10-20 minutes more. Remove bay leaves and thyme. Serve over heaping white rice and garnish with fresh parsley.