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Crawfish? Crawdad? Crayfish? Mudbug?

Contributed by: Cajun Clark

What you call them depends on where you live. However, those are the names commonly used to describe any of numerous crustaceans, order Decapoda, constituting the families Astacidae (Northern Hemisphere), Parastacidae, and Austroastracidae (Southern Hemisphere). According to an article in ENCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, they are closely related to the lobster. Over half of the more than 500 species occur in North America, which helps explain the popularity of those little tasty tidbits. Nearly all live in fresh water, a few in brackish water or salt water.

Crawfish are usually about three-inches long. Among the smallest is the one-inch long Cambarellus diminutus of the southeastern United States. Among the largest is Astacopsis gouldi of Tasmania, which may reach 16-inches and weigh about eight-pounds. Now that's not a "Louisiana mudbug"!

Crawfish Au Gratin

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1--13 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 pound crawfish, cooked

Preheat oven to 375 F--cooking time 15 minutes.

Saute onion and celery in butter until onions are clear. Blend flour in well with mixture. Pour milk gradually, stirring constantly. Add egg yolks, salt, red pepper and black pepper; stir well and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Put crawfish in bowl suitable for mixing, and pour the cooked sauce over the crawfish. Blend well, and then transfer into a lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown.

Patti's Crawfish Etouffee

Add 2 tablespoons Tony's Seasoning* to...

  • 3 pounds Louisiana crawfish (only!) to season until called for later in recipe.
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup green onion tops
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups water (maybe more)

In a large magnalite pot, heat and melt butter. Add vegetables and saute 'til tender. Add flour and stir well; smother 'til golden brown. Add seasoned crawfish. Stir in well, and smother this for 10 minutes--stirring constantly. Add water and simmer on low fire for 30 to 40 minutes. Add parsley and green onion tops the last 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

*Note: Tony's Seasoning may or may not be available in your area. But don't fret, you can make your own Cajun Seasoning with very little effort and it's great too. You'll find the recipe at:

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