The History Behind Étouffée
Étouffée, pronounced “eh-too-fey”, has been deeply rooted in Louisiana culinary history since the 1920s. Initially, it was only popular with Cajuns who lived along the bayous of South Louisiana and was later introduced in restaurants around the Breaux Bridge area in the 1950s. It wasn’t until the 1980s that a server from the very popular New Orleans restaurant, Galatoires, brought the dish to his boss and asked him to give it a try. His boss enjoyed it so much, Galatoires added it to their menu and from then on, étouffée was solidified in Louisiana History as one of our greatest dishes. Today, ètouffée is a familiar dish around the country but is most commonly found in South Louisiana.
What is Étouffée?
Did you know Étouffée derives from the French verb etouffer, which means “smothered”? In simple terms, crawfish étouffée could be described as smothered crawfish! In more detail, ètouffée is a seasoned dish where shellfish are simmered with the holy trinity in a sauce made out of roux and served over rice.
There are many variations of étouffée, from the protein used to the thickness of the stew, and the level of spiciness. While all variations are delicious, here in Louisiana, étouffée is most commonly made with crawfish or shrimp. Many who don’t have access to shellfish have used chicken as a substitute. For us, we don’t mind if it’s thick or a little thinner, what matters is that our ètouffèe is full of flavor and seasoned with Slap!
Feel like being a Cajun Chef Make Mama’s Crawfish Étouffée from scratch?
- 1 cup unsalted butter (divided)
- 1 large yellow onion (diced)
- 1 large green bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- 3 stalks celery (diced)
- 1 tomato (diced)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 16 oz package cooked crawfish tails
- .5 cup seafood stock
- 1.5 tsp Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning
- 2 tsp Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning
- hot cooked rice, to serve
- garnish: chopped fresh parsley, chopped green onion
- In a large Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and tomato; cook until tender. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add crawfish, and stir to combine. Add stock; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Add Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning and Slap Ya Mama Hot Sauce. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Cut remaining 3/4 cup butter into cubes. Remove pan from heat; fold in cubed butter, stirring until a creamy sauce forms. Serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish with parsley and green onion, if desired.
Save time with Slap Ya Mama’s Cajun Étouffée Sauce!
Mama’s Cajun Étouffée Sauce is an authentic down-home etouffée base that is so much like our grandmother’s, you’d swear we have Wilda Marie in the back cooking up batches by the tons…from scratch. Here at Slap Ya Mama, we really like to use it with crawfish but if you can’t get crawfish you can use shrimp or chicken. All you have to do is add water and your protein of choice. Serve it over rice or pasta, an amazing and incredibly fast Cajun meal that can feed the family. One jar serves approximately 4-5 people.