Michelle M. Winner & Maralyn D. Hill judging Etouffée Cook-Off in Breaux Bridge Photo: David Lyons
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Michelle M. Winner & Maralyn D. Hill judging Etouffée Cook-Off in Breaux Bridge Photo: David Lyons

 

Recently, Michelle M. Winner, president of IFWTWA, and I were honored to be asked to be judges at the Etouffée Cook-off. There were eight of us in total. This cook-off is part of the annual Breau Bridge Crawfish Festival.

We have been judges in other food competitions, have experienced etouffée, but did not realize the seriousness involved with being true to the true etouffée, with color, consistency, and ingredients. One does not mess around being creative with adding sour cream, mushroom soup or something like that. The one area that allows for creativity is the seasoning. So, a combination of color, consistency to just stick to rice but not be to thick or thin, crawfish cooked to perfection, and seasoning is what determines the winner.

Judging while crowd tastes in background Photo: David Lyons
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Judging while crowd tastes in background Photo: David Lyons

We tasted 18 different entries and had no idea who was who. It was a blind tasting, which is what this type of event should be, but this food judge has been at other events that were far from blind. None of us talked to each other, but the top three places were clear—no close calls.

This year’s winners were: Whitness Gary and Jimmy Blanchard from Breaux Bridge.  Second place went to Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Guidry from Houston, Texas. Kurt is originally from Breaux Bridge. Third place went to Richard Guidry and Adam Latiolais from Breaux Bridge.

First Place Winner Presentation Photo: Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival
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First Place Winner Presentation Photo: Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

The 2013 Crawfish Queen Anna Angelle; co chairman, Scott Hebert; and chairman, Jimmy Durio, were there to present the award.

Before I share the recipe, I need to say the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is outstanding with its multiple stages for music, dance lessons, cooking demos, crawfish races, and samplings of various Cajun food. It is easy to see why people attend year after year. More family members come home for the festival than holidays. It is a community affair that has grown to encompass the country. The town is alive with the excitement.

Crawfish Etouffée

Ingredients:

¼ cup butter or margarine

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup green peppers, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups Louisiana Crawfish tails

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup parsley, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp ground red pepper

hot pepper sauce to taste (some make a secret spice paste)

3 cups of hot cooked rice

Method:

Melt butter in large heavy pot (iron preferred).

Blend flour and stir over medium-low heat until roux is dark brown, 10-15 minutes.

Add onions, celery, green peppers, and garlic; cook until tender crisp, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients except rice and simmer 20 minutes.

Serve over fluffy rice.

Make six servings.

MDH Note: Each establishment and entrant closely guards the combination of spices. You need to experiment to fix to your own taste buds.

 

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By, Maralyn D. Hill