My recent trip to New Orleans was quite inspiring when it came to trying and exploring new and dynamic flavors. I was exposed to amazingly delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine (I learned that these are distinct from one another) and wanted to explore making a vegan version of a New Orleans classic, Crawfish Étouffée.
The étouffée sauce is traditionally made with butter and a meat or seafood stock, but I used soy butter and a veggie broth instead. I also made it with pan fried tofu instead of crawfish. I based my recipe off of Emeril’s recipe (because who is more of an expert than he is when it comes to classic New Orleans cuisine ?!). https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/crawfish-etouffee-1-3645763
I thought this rich, yet plant-based étouffée would go well with a nice garlic bread to soak up the sauce. While the traditional étouffée is served with long grain white rice, I didn’t have that at home and I have Basmati rice, which serves a similar thickness and texture. This is not an authentic étouffée recipe, but I thought it turned out to be very soothing and delicious while keeping its plant-based integrity.
The garlic bread soaks up the étouffée perfectly even if you eat it with rice. My garlic bread recipe is based off of this recipe: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/garlic-bread-106583. I have always found it to be simple and flavorful.
- 1 baguette or loaf of Italian bread
- 4 cloves of garlic that are finely chopped or minced
- 1/4 cup of soy butter
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 handful of finely chopped parsley
- 1 tsp of salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Put the bottom of your loaf in foil and cut the bread into diagonal, horizontal slices, but not all the way through so it’s still a cohesive, attached loaf.
- As you’re waiting for the oven to preheat, melt the soy butter in a bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir in the oil, basil, garlic, and salt with the butter until it is smooth. Then add in the parsley.
- Using a brush, dip the brush into the paste, and polish it on both sides of each of the garlic bread slices. Then completely wrap the bread in the foil.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, open the foil and bake it for 5 more minutes so you get that crispiness.
Bon appetit! Enjoy a New Orleans classic without as much of the ethical/health guilt!
Hungry for more recipes? Check them out here.