The start of our steamy South Louisiana summer means that crawfish season is coming to an end, but for the mudbug obsessed, you can still get your fix by switching over to packaged crawfish tails. The tails are boiled and seasoned and the tail meat with all of its delicious fatty flavors are packaged up, usually in 1 pound packages. There are so many ways to use these tails, like a classic Étouffée, creamy crawfish queso, fried tails dressed in a poboy or on a salad....seriously, so...many...ways!
This Corn & Crawfish Stew is another tasty way to get your crawfish fix. The filling and flavorful meal is loaded with sweet corn, fresh ripe tomatoes, yellow and green onion & crunchy red bell pepper. And of course, there's some spice in there with the addition of cayenne pepper and a hefty splash of spicy crab boil seasoning!
The first thing you'll want to tackle is prepping all of your ingredients. You're going to start out by making a butter roux, which means a few minutes of CONSTANT stirring. So having everything chopped, measured and ready to be thrown into the pot is a crucial step to avoiding burning your roux. You know nobody wants a burnt roux! Once everything is chopped and ready to go, you can get started on the roux.
To start on this butter roux, melt one stick of butter in a large, high sided saucepan (around a 4 quart pan) on medium heat (not too hot, now!). Once the butter is melted and slightly bubbling, sprinkle in 1/2 cup all purpose flour, whisking constantly as the flour incorporates into the butter. This is one of the most important steps in making any roux! Non-stop, steady stirring over a medium heat should keep your roux from burning, but if the fire seems too hot, don't be afraid to turn it down a notch. If it burns at all (i.e. burnt smell, burnt flecks in the roux), toss it and start over! The butter roux doesn't take as long as an oil roux, so after about 5 minutes, you'll notice the it darken in color as you stir.
Once the roux turns a nice peanut butter shade, add your onion, celery, and red bell pepper and stir until they're completely mixed in with the roux. Stay close to that pot and keep stirring things around while the veggies sauté for around 5 minutes. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt & pepper, add chopped fresh garlic, stir and sauté for another 5 minutes. Next, you'll slowly add in seafood stock, stirring as you add in a little at a time.
After all of the stock is stirred in, season with about a teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of pepper and garlic powder. And for some spice, I like to add about 1/8 tsp. of red cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of crab boil seasoning. Let the bubbly concoction simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add in the corn, tomatoes, green onions and parsley and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
After a few minutes, drop the heat to low and add in your crawfish tails. Let that come together on low for about 5 more minutes, then I like to turn off the heat, put the lid on and just let that pot chill for as long as I can stand it! Maybe as long as it takes to boil a pot of rice. As the stew cools down, all of the flavors meld together in the most amazing way! You can add any more seasoning to taste. Serve yourself a couple heaping scoops over rice (or grits!) and garnish with parsley and green onions. Pro tip...leftovers taste even better!
Thanks for Chewsing!