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Crawfish Fettuccine

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 30 min.

Makes

8 servings

I have lived in this close-knit community all my life and enjoy cooking Cajun dishes, especially this crawfish fettuccine. Along with a green salad and garlic bread, this dish is great for family gatherings. The recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger group, and if you’d like it less spicy, remove the seeds from the jalapeno before chopping it. —Carolyn Lejeune, Welsh, Louisiana
Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups butter, cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz. Velveeta, cubed
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 1-1/2 pounds frozen cooked crawfish tails, thawed or cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large skillet, saute the onion, red pepper, green onions and celery in butter until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir, 2 minutes. Add the cheese, cream, jalapeno and salt; cook and stir until mixture is thickened and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain. Stir fettuccine and crawfish into the vegetable mixture. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until heated through, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Crawfish Fettuccine Tips

How should you prep crawfish for cooking?

When buying frozen cooked crawfish tails, you’ll find them already shelled and cleaned, so all the work is done for you. Let the crawfish meat thaw in the refrigerator overnight. If part of the dark vein running alongside the back remains, you can remove it or leave it—it’s up to you. But if you see a bit of orange-red butterlike substance, don’t get rid of it! That’s a particularly tasty fat, and it adds loads of flavor to your finished dish.
If you’re working with frozen cooked whole crawfish, there are more steps, but it’s still not difficult. Crawfish are cleaned in a process calling purging before they’re cooked, so, again, much of the work has been done for you. The rest is similar to cleaning shrimp. Twist off the heads, then remove the shells from the tails. Squeeze the tip of the tail firmly, place your thumbnail against the meat under the top of the shell as a lever, then pull, twisting slightly. The shell should come free with little effort.

Where can you purchase crawfish?

You can find frozen crawfish in the freezer section of many grocery stores. If yours doesn’t carry it, check the local fish markets. The benefit of buying frozen is that you can usually find it year-round, whereas fresh crawfish are seasonal. Although their season isn’t as short as some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it specialties (we’re looking at you, soft-shell crabs), they are mostly available from late February through late May; the peak is in March and April.
You can also order crawfish online. Numerous vendors offer Louisiana and Gulf Coast ingredients, and there are some that specialize specifically in crawfish.

How do you store crawfish fettuccine?

Store cooled crawfish fettuccine in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’ll be good for 3-4 days; after that, it’s best to dispose of it. (Here's how long other leftovers keep.) To avoid making your crawfish overcooked and rubbery, reheat it in a saucepan over medium-low just until heated through.
If you’re looking for more classic Cajun crawfish recipes, try Crawfish Etouffee, Crawfish Cornbread and even Crawfish Beignets!

Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home Book Editor 
Peppers (Hot)
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 590 calories, 41g fat (25g saturated fat), 236mg cholesterol, 853mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 26g protein.

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