HOW IT BEGINS: A DREARY DAY POST MARDI GRAS…
A ROMANTIC CREOLE COTTAGE…
TWO PEOPLE ON A DATE WONDERING WHAT TO DO ON V DAY…
There is something I want to do tonight, Laszlo, my love. To celebrate Valentine’s Day… Hee, hee, stop that! That tickles!!! It’s something I’ve wanted to do since we’ve been down here in New Orleans…
Laszlo: (Nuzzling Lala) Don’t I know it, baby…
Lala: (Pushing Laszlo away to look at him.) How did you know? How did you know I wanted to make Crawfish Étouffée tonight? Wait! Where are you going? What did I do?
Laszlo: (indistinct grumbling as he stomps away.) I just had a hunch.
Crawfish Étouffée, a date in the Vieux Carre at Laszlo’s house.
Laszlo imbibes his Herb Saint… prior to the cooking festivities.
Crawfish Etouffee on Valentine’s Day… it’s not pretty but it sure beats going out…
Cutting up the ingredients of the Louisiana “trinity”… or is it the Creole trinity? Note the “King Cake” in the background–a Mardi Gras must, we are told by our native friends. There is an actual baby baked into it. This, while disturbing, does not slow us down in eating it.
The man cave prior to the romantic crawfish dinner. Wait…romantic crawfish dinner? This is why we don’t live together.
Laszlo depoops the crawfish. Which is really just gross.
When Lala saw the amount of butter she decided to start drinking. “At least I won’t be aware of getting fatter,” she reasoned to Laszlo, who kept refusing to refill her glass.
“I’ll stay at my end of the counter and work. You stay at yours,” said Lala, who has an aversion to small, insectile dead beings on his granite counter. “Just bring me more wine.”
“What? I can’t hear you all the way over there!” Laszlo said. But he totally could. “I’m a guest here!” I said. He ignored that too.
The trinity. Or a trinity. Red bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic. Even a vampire would like this.
A Valentine’s Rose would smell as sweet even next to your crawfish depooping operation, Laszlo. Note the lack of wine in the background. Sigh.
The problem with crawfish is that they look disgusting, taste like heaven, and must be depooped. Like all cooking one must employ the right tools for efficiency and good results: here is pictured my crawfish-depooping tool, Laszlo. Boy is that nasty. It’s times like this when I realize that HR Giger’s Aliens might not have been all that original.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the deaths of these small critters and the deliciousness of their hinies when boiled.
For those so inclined, here is the recipe:
Taken from Louisiana Hometown Cookbook
“Easy Crawfish Étouffée”
1 1/2 cups chopped onions (drinking enough wine prevents your eyes from watering)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (we used red)
1 cup chopped celery (ours was kind of aged looking but organic so maybe that evens the playing field?)
2 cloves garlic (big, fat garlics. Not those mini-me versions you get up north)
1 1/2 STICKS BUTTER (that’s right, folks. One and one-half sticks. What? What.)
1 can cream of celery soup (I know, I know, it’s a shortcut…but I’m just starting out on the whole cooking thing… I’m barely housebroken as it is… so give me a break on this part, okay?)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (with chilies, obtained at Rouse’s by evading a 6’4″ transvestite in pink tutu)
2 pounds crawfish tails (and a Laszlo for depooping)
Salt and peppa’ (Not the music. We used Gershwin and the Pina film soundtrack)
Saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in butter. Add soup, tomatoes and crawfish. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Season with salt n’ peppa’ to taste. Add water as needed if sauce is too thick. Serve over cooked rice.
If you do it all right you should look like this after eating it:
Alas, this is representative of the level of romance in the lovely little cottage after we ate. That’s me at far left. Laszlo is front, drool stains and all.