Anthony Frederick’s Crawfish Etouffée

1 stick margarine
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 small fresh bay leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
5 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 stick butter
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup fish stock
2 pounds peeled, cooked crawfish tails
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup minced parsley
Cognac, to taste (optional)
1/2 cup chopped green-onion tops (optional)

Make a dark, walnut-colored roux with margarine and flour (melt margarine in flat-bottomed pan; add flour, and brown over medium heat, stirring constantly). Add green and yellow onion, garlic, green pepper, celery, bay leaves, thyme, basil, and butter. Sauté uncovered over medium flame for 30 minutes. Add tomato sauce, white pepper, salt, Worcestershire, Tabasco, wine, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add crawfish (if frozen, do not thaw), lemon juice and rind, parsley, and cognac. Heat quickly without boiling, and serve immediately over steamed rice. Garnish with green-onion tops.

Note: This is better made the day before or early in the morning. Do not heat after adding final ingredients. Instead, cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before reheating.

Serves 8 – 10

From “Specialty of the House,” originally featured in Domain, Fall 1988.