Étouffée (ay-too-FACY) isn't just a fancy-sounding name--it's Cajun comfort food at its best. The thick, spicy mixture of crawfish, shrimp, or crab (or a combination of these) with onions and peppers is cooked in a light gravy and then served with rice. It's one of those classic recipes that's perfect just as it is, so there's no need to change anything.
These recipes call for fresh crawfish, crabmeat, and shrimp because they're readily available in Cajun country. Don't fret if you can't get your hands on the fresh seafood--frozen crawfish tails and frozen uncooked shrimp work very well. Whether you're hosting a fancy party or serving a weeknight dinner, bring étouffée to the table for a bowl of Cajun goodness.