FIRST: YOU DO NOT MAKE A ROUX (roo)!!!
Seriously. I mean that, I really do. If you are “roux challenged”, then fret no more. This little recipe right here is going to set you free. And it’s just in time for all those leftover mudbugs that nobody ever wants to peel, and because most of us stuff ourselves to the point of bursting the day of the crawfish boil, we don’t care to see another boiled bug until maybe next weekend!
No More Roux Anxiety
A seasoned Cajun/French cook who’s in her seventies introduced me to this product recently while I was eating her delicious fresh chicken stew. I could not believe how good it was, combined with the fact that she did not slave over a hot pot until her roux turned Hershey brown.
Tony Chachere has invented something that takes the mystery out of making a roux. This is NOT for all you traditionalists out there, and please don’t poo-poo it until you’ve tried it. I promise all of you that it is fail safe and you just cannot go wrong. Your dinner guests are going to ooh and ah over this dish until crawfish walk frontwards!
So, sit around and talk while you peel the last of the crawfish that your guests just could not shove in their pie holes. Make sure that you remove the vein or “mud line” that runs down the back, though. If you don’t, they will end up floating on the surface of your stew and that is just, well, nasty. There’s no nice way to say that.
Be sure and keep all the side items that you boiled along with your crawfish: onions, mushrooms, garlic, corn, smoked sausage, and potatoes. If you boil other stuff, well, just make sure it compliments your stew before throwing them in the pot. Here we go!
- pound Leftover boiled crawfish tails - about 1 for this recipe easily doubled
- Leftover side items: potatoes smoked sausage, onions, garlic, mushrooms, corn
- Olive oil
- 1 t large onion if you don' have enough from the boil
- t Garlic Powder if you don' have garlic from the boil
- Salt only if it needs it
- Tony Chachere's Instant Roux Mix
- Boiling Water
- Green onion tops
- Keep some water boiling on a back burner.
- Add a little olive oil to a heavy pot - just enough to saute a large onion OR chop the onions you have from the boil.
- Cut the smoked sausage into small pieces, and when the onions are done, add to the pot and continue to saute.
- After the sausage has browned a little, add the crawfish tails and saute a few minutes more.
- If you have corn and mushrooms, now is a good time to slice the mushrooms and slice the corn off the cob (about 2 ears).
- Add the corn kernels and saute.
- In a small sauce pan, add 1 cup of cold water, and over medium heat, whisk in 1/2 cup of Roux Mix.
- Whisk while mixture comes to a boil.
- Remove it from the fire and add it to your stew pot, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Using the boiling water from your kettle, slowly add hot water until desired thickness of what YOU think a stew should be. Just remember, as it simmers, it will thicken, so you can always add more hot water.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and minced garlic (or garlic powder).
- Add the sliced green onions.
- Add the potatoes only after the stew has simmered for about 15-20 minutes. You don't want them to cook any more, or they will fall apart.
- Simmer the stew for about a total of 30 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve with rice.
Crawfish Stew for Beginners Step-by-Step Photos
Start with a heavy pot or cast iron dutch oven. If all you have is a stainless pot, that is fine. Add a little olive oil–just enough to sauté a large onion OR chop the onions you have from the boil.
If you have corn and mushrooms, now is a good time to slice the mushrooms and slice the corn off the cob. Two ears is plenty if you don’t care for a lot of corn in the stew, or you can omit it entirely. It’s not necessary for the stew to turn out good.
After the sausage has browned a little, add the crawfish tails and sauté a few minutes more. Then add the corn kernels and sauté. Make sure you have a kettle of water boiling on the back burner for later.
At this point, the Roux will be pretty thick, but that’s okay. Using the boiling water from your kettle, slowly add hot water until desired thickness of what YOU think a stew should be. Just remember, as it simmers, it will thicken, so you can always add more hot water.
Now, it’s time to add the sliced mushrooms, minced garlic (or garlic powder if you didn’t boil mushrooms). After it simmers a while, taste test for seasoning and salt. If your boil was very salty and spicy, then your stew will have that great flavor. If it’s a little bland, then add any Cajun seasoning you like, or salt and pepper to your liking. Remember, the flavors will come out of the ingredients as it simmers, so you might want to give it a while before you add anything.
While those things are simmering, it’s time to chop your green onion tops (which we bayou people call the tail of the onion) and cube your potatoes, any size you like. I leave mine large so that those who don’t care for potatoes can pick around them while serving their bowl.
Add the green onions now and check your thickness to see if hot water needs to be added.
Add the potatoes only after the stew has simmered for about 15-20 minutes. You don’t want them to cook any more, or they will fall apart. If your potatoes are mushy from the boil, I probably would add them during the last few minutes or not at all.
Since all the ingredients are pre-cooked, you only need to simmer the stew for about a total of 30 minutes. Remember to taste at the end for spice and salt. Adjust accordingly.
Be sure and cook your rice while your delicious stew is simmering. Good rice only takes about 20 minutes to cook, so that should be hot and ready to go into your bowls!
Cher, you just can’t go wrong with a good crawfish stew. And I PROMISE, your family will be singing your praises, and hopefully, you will be singing mine. Er, uh, wait, I mean you will be singing the praises of Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux Mix.