The word étouffée (pronounced eh-too-fey) comes from the French word“to smother.” The best way to describe this dish is a very thick stew, seasoned to perfection and chock full of delicious, plump crawfish (or shrimp) served over rice. In some ways, its similar to gumbo – same types of Creole seasonings, served over rice, and made with a roux, but unlike gumbo, étouffée is often made with a“blonde”roux, giving it a lighter color and a very different almost sweet flavor. It’s a unique taste you won’t soon forget and worth trying at home.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and sauté until soft and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crawfish and bay leaves. Reduce the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Dissolve the flour in the water. Add to the crawfish mixture and season with salt and cayenne. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley and green onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and serve.