In southwest Louisiana, countless spring evenings are filled with thick, humid air and the hefty aroma of backyard crawfish boils. Everyone gathers around picnic tables shrouded in newspapers, and nearby, a colossal pot slowly churns away with spices that permeate the air and clear the sinuses.
Family and friends spend hour after hour whipping through pounds and pounds of crawfish and its accompaniments, enjoying the company as much as the fare. All the crawfish heads and shells are coveted for the best seafood stock, and any uneaten tails head straight to the freezer to later be used in étouffées, pies, and crawfish fettuccini. —Amber Wilson – For the Love of the South
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- 1½ cups butter
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- ½ pound American cheese, cubed
- ½ pound Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, shredded
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat
- 1 pound hot cooked fettuccini
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, and cook about 7 minutes or until translucent. Stir in celery, bell peppers, garlic, parsley, and green onion; cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
- Stir in flour until well incorporated; cook 5 minutes or until a nutty fragrance develops. Lower heat to medium-low, and slowly stir in half-and-half. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Slowly stir in American cheese, about ¼ cup at a time, letting each addition melt before the next; stir in Monterey Jack cheese in the same manner until incorporated. Stir in salt and black and cayenne peppers.
- Add crawfish, and cook 5 minutes or until heated through. Combine fettuccine with crawfish sauce, and top with Parmesan. Serve immediately.