Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crawfish Omelet

When I was a kid, we often got together for large, family brunches, lunches, and dinners with my mom's side of the family. Sometimes we ate at my grandparents' house, but often we went out--there are tons of great restaurants in New Orleans, after all.

One of the places we used to go was Elmo's. I remember that there were two older gentlemen who often played music while you ate--one played clarinet, but I can't for the life of me remember what the other one played. Flute? Keyboard? It doesn't matter really... I can specifically remember them playing "Blueberry Hill" while we dined at a nearby table. It seemed like those guys were always there, no matter when we went.

The best part of Elmo's though was the food, of course. From what I can remember, their menu was pretty much only seafood dishes, and about half of that was crawfish. I'm sure all of it was good, but I wouldn't know. The only thing I can ever remember ordering was the crawfish omelet. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Unfortunately, Elmo's is closed now, so there's no getting an omelet no matter how badly I want one. The only solution is to make one myself.

I'm not really sure how they made the crawfish sauce for the omelet. They may have just used their crawfish étouffée, but I can't remember ever eating their étouffée and therefore have no idea. I decided that that seemed like the best place to start though, so I started with the étouffée recipe I always use and mixed it with a little bit of béchamel sauce to make it creamier. From there, I just made a plain omelet and then plated it with the crafwish sauce spooned into the middle of the folded omelet. The taste is pretty close to what I remember, though I think there's had more crawfish in it. (I only used 1 lb because I'm not in Louisiana and so crawfish aren't cheap.)

If you want to be super traditional about the étouffée, make sure you stir it with a wooden spoon. All good Cajun cooking is stirred with wooden spoons.


2/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c flour
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp seafood seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 c shrimp stock (substitute chicken stock/broth, if desired)
1-2 lbs peeled crawfish tails

1 c milk
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour

18 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp butter, separated


Heat oil for the étouffée in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour to make a roux, and stir constantly until the mixture turns the color of peanut butter or slightly darker, about 15-20 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper to the skillet, and sauté for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, and seafood seasoning. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, melt the butter for the béchamel sauce over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk slowly, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened and bubbly, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add crawfish tails to étouffée, and cook 10 minutes. Whisk béchamel sauce into étouffée, and reduce heat to low to keep warm, stirring occasionally.

Whisk 3 eggs vigorously. Melt 1/2 tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add eggs, and cook until they have mostly solidified. Flip omelet over and cook through. Repeat with other omelets.

Place one omelet open-faced on a plate. Spoon crawfish sauce over half of the omelet and then fold to cover sauce. Repeat with remaining omelets.

Servings: 6

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