Crawfish Etouffee is essentially boiled crawfish cooked in a creamy and juicy sauce. The Holy Trinity seasoning, combined with the butter and the creamy roux, makes this dish an unforgettable experience. Although a delicacy in itself, crawfish etouffee, combined with the suitable side dishes, will make your dining experience out of this world. So, what to serve with crawfish etouffee?
Roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted Brussel sprouts, rice, fried mixed vegetables (peppers, onions, and corn), grilled vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant, red beans, or roasted cauliflower and broccoli are known as excellent sides for crawfish etouffee.
Although crawfish etouffee is perfect as it is and will take you to food heaven on the first bite, pairing it with the suitable side dishes will increase your enjoyment even more. In the following paragraphs, I will share some ideas on what to serve your crawfish etouffee with, what wine goes with it, what are some of the best dessert ideas, and what to do with the leftovers.
What Side Dishes Go With Crawfish Etouffee?
Because crawfish etouffee is a taste bomb, combining many flavors into one, there are quite a few sides that pair perfectly with bringing out the best from it.
Roasted potatoes are the little black dress of sides. Whatever you pair them with, they magically mash with it, making the dish even better. Crawfish etouffee isn’t an exception either. Since crawfish etouffee gravy is very rich and flavorful, the roasted potatoes work excellently to absorb it.
Spice up your potatoes with some herbal spices, such as basil, rosemary, or oregano, and you get a flavor combination you won’t ever forget.
Mashed potatoes are an excellent pair for gravy dishes, such as crawfish etouffee. Since crawfish etouffee is extremely rich and buttery, having an abundance of flavors, the mashed potatoes will come in handy to calm everything down and absorb the gravy making it even richer.
Making the mashed potatoes with milk and butter instead of water and oil is an excellent piece of advice, as the creaminess and richness will be beyond words. Pour some gravy on the mashed potatoes and enjoy.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Crawfish etouffee is a dish that could always use more creaminess, but it is also a dish that could always benefit from crunchiness. Therefore, roasted Brussel sprouts are not only a healthy side, but they will also give some extra texture to the dish.
Sizzle them with butter, black pepper, and salt and let them soak in the gravy. You will find this to be a fantastic combination.
Rice is probably the most popular side in general and indeed the first thing you think about when pairing crawfish etouffee. You can leave the rice plain or make a vegetable risotto; the choice is yours.
The rice’s grainy and soft texture will pair excellently with the creamy consistency of the crawfish etouffee, making this combination a match made in heaven.
Caramelized onions and bell pepper, enhanced with soy sauce and corn, will be the perfect pair for your crawfish etouffee. Corn is a standard ingredient in a crawfish boil, and therefore, it is no wonder that it will fit in perfectly here as well.
Although crawfish etouffee already contains onions and bell pepper, adding caramelized onions and bell peppers won’t overwhelm the dish, nor will they dominate. They will bond with the rest of the ingredients giving you a thick and delicious dish.
Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant
Throw the sliced zucchini and eggplant on the grill, sprinkle them with olive oil and let them sizzle. Then put minced garlic and parsley on them, and you get a fantastic side dish for your crawfish etouffee.
You can also marinate the grilled zucchini and eggplant from the day before. Place them in a marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and parsley, and let the flavors mesh together.
Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli
Just like rice, cauliflower has also been known as a versatile side dish because it is neutral-tasting with an excellent pairing consistency. Broccoli has a more robust taste and texture, which is why it goes great with cauliflower, as they supplement each other.
Sizzled with black pepper, salt, and butter, cauliflower and broccoli will give your creamy crawfish etouffee some extra texture and edge you cannot get from another combination.
Canned Red Beans
Although it sounds a bit unusual, canned red beans could be a great addition to crawfish etouffee. Sure, they aren’t as elegant as the rest of the sides on this list, but they can do a great job here.
The spongy consistency of the beans combined with their smooth texture pair perfectly with the rich gravy of the crawfish etouffee. It won’t absorb the gravy, as it will slide right off the bean’s surface, but when everything is in your mouth, that spongy bean interior comes to play, giving you a mashed potato sensation with a bean flavor.
What Bread Goes With Crawfish Etouffee?
Because it is so juicy and creamy, crawfish etouffee pairs excellent with bread. Choose between cornbread, baguette, focaccia, garlic bread and brioche.
Cornbread is famous for pairing with gravy dishes. In itself, it has an unstable consistency which makes it challenging to use as a sandwich bread or for spreads. However, this consistency makes it perfect for dipping in the rich and nutty gravy of the crawfish etouffee.
Spongy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, one of the many uses of the French baguette is as a dipping bread for crawfish etouffee. Even more so since its spongy interior gets soaked in the gravy without losing stability and keeping its consistency.
It’s not the consistency of the bread, as much as the herbal and rustic flavor that makes this bread a part of this list. The crunchy surface of the bread covered with herbal spices and olive oil is an excellent match for crawfish etouffee. They pair great texture-wise and flavor-wise as the herbal whiff of the focaccia bread will excellently complement the intense flavors and aromas of the crawfish etouffee.
There indeed is such a thing as too much garlic, but this is not the case. When it comes to crawfish etouffee, the more garlic, the better. Therefore, pair this fantastic dish that already has garlic with a bread that has garlic.
The garlic aroma from the crawfish etouffee isn’t the same as from the garlic bread, and therefore you will experience two similar but different garlic flavors. Also, by its nature, garlic bread tends to be fattier and greasier than most breeds, so it will fit perfectly into this equation.
Although sweet-tasting, brioche goes great with crawfish etouffee due to its consistency. Probably the spongiest one on this list, brioche will soak in the gravy, making every bite a confirmation that you’ve made the right decision.
Since crawfish etouffee has a buttery and a nutty whiff, the mild sweetness of the brioche will supplement and augment these flavors.
What Salad to Serve With Crawfish Etouffee?
Crawfish etouffee will pair nicely with fresh vegetable salads, so don’t hesitate to use whatever fresh you have handy. However, the following salads go especially well with crawfish etouffee: Caprese salad, fresh lettuce, cabbage and carrot salad, spinach and arugula.
The cherry tomatoes with basil and mozzarella cheese will give freshness to your crawfish etouffee, making the dish even more delicious, especially since the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes is compatible with the flavor combination in the dish.
Fresh Lettuce, Cabbage, and Carrot Salad
There are only a few dishes that don’t pair with this salad, but crawfish etouffee are definitely not one of them. The crunch of the cabbage, combined with the freshness of the lettuce and the sweetness of the grated carrots, is definitely a winning combination for your dish.
Season the salad with some salt and balsamic vinegar, and enjoy.
Spinach and Arugula Salad
The crunchy spinach and arugula seasoned with lemon zest and balsamic cream will enhance the flavors already contained in the crawfish etouffee rather than add new ones. Indeed you will feel the full salad texture, but other than the balsamic cream and the sharpness of the spinach and arugula, the taste will remain more or less the same, only stronger.
What Wine to Serve With Crawfish Etouffee?
Crawfish etouffee goes amazingly with wine. Fruity wines with intense aromas and sweet flavors pair best with this dish.
This is a dry wine that comes in several flavors- peach, apricot, pear, and apple. I’d recommend apple Riesling as the best pair for crawfish etouffee.
This is a highly acidic wine that is used to mix in many soda drinks. Therefore you can use it for that purpose here as well, as the crawfish etouffee flavor could use a slight wine acidity.
This oaky and buttery wine will be the cherry on top of your decadent meal. The buttery consistency of the wine will slide through your throat along with the gravy of the crawfish etouffee, awaking taste buds you didn’t know you had.
What Dessert to Serve With Crawfish Etouffee?
Crawfish etouffee goes with light and dry or spongy deserts. Chocolate is a great flavor to polish off your dining experience, as it opposes the flavors contained in the crawfish etouffee but at the same time goes perfectly with them.
Chocolate Lava Cake
The creamy chocolate emerging from the spongy shell of the lava cake will bejewel of your crawfish etouffee meal. The silky chocolate texture will stay with you even after you have your dessert but won’t eliminate the crawfish etouffee aftertaste.
Who would have thought that such a simple dessert could be the one to choose to round up such a decadent meal. The dryness of the muffins combined with the sweet sourness of the blueberries will result in an amazing opposition to the pungent crawfish etouffee flavor.
Chocolate Cream Pie
Finishing a decadent meal with a decadent dessert is the proper way to send off your crawfish etouffee. The creamy chocolate consistency is rich as the crawfish etouffee gravy but sweet, making this dessert the perfect ending to the perfect story.
What to Do With Crawfish Etouffee Leftovers?
Crawfish etouffee becomes all the more attractive because it does well in the fridge and in the freezer. Therefore, if you don’t have any idea what to do with it, you can always store it for later.
However, if you want to transform your crawfish etouffee, that is also a good idea, as there are many dishes you can make using it.
You can make pasta sing your leftover crawfish etouffee and get an entirely different meal. Make jambalaya or a simple risotto.
You could also use your crawfish etouffee to spice up your crawfish boil or make crawfish etouffee mac and cheese.
Crawfish etouffee cakes would also be a good use of your leftovers; they are easy to make and delicious to eat.
What Is the Difference Between Crawfish Etouffee and Crawfish Stew?
Crawfish stew is a Cajun dish made with brown roux, and crawfish etouffee is a Creole dish made with creamy white roux. Crawfish stew is less creamy and dense compared to crawfish etouffee.