As a teacher, I LOVE my summers! I had – and still have – all these plans to organize and clean the house. It really hasn’t happened yet – and we’ve been out for a month! But I’ve gotten to rest. I’ve gotten to sleep a little later. I would sleep MUCH later, but Elizabeth’s black lab, Thunder, starts whining and barking by 6:00 EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. Yes, I love him and he’s precious, but the other two dogs would seriously stay in my room until 10, if I slept in.

Not Thunder.

He’s a different kind of dog. He’s a little over a year old, but he’s really still a puppy. He’s goofy and bouncy and still chews on everything. He’s not lazy yet – like our other lab, Patriot. We love him though. He’s really sweet and snuggly.

I’ll just be REALLY glad when he outgrows some of this puppy stuff!

The best part of being off for summer is that I get to cook a really good dinner every night.

Last night, I made this absolute gem!

The inspiration for this dish comes from Crawfish Monica – a dish that gained acclaim after becoming a favorite at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. I changed a few things and this dish is a little bit spicier and a Iittle bit quirkier than the original. Because we are HUGE fans of the t.v. show “Friends,” I made a little comparison. And since my dish is spicier and quirkier than Crawfish Monica, I decided to christen this dish Crawfish Phoebe!

This is SUCH a fantastic dish. I mean, really. Everybody in the house loved it. They really gobbled it up. This recipe makes a ton. There was enough for two family members to have seconds and then I put two large servings in the fridge.

And we really don’t make skimpy plates. My tribe EATS.

This is really one that you need to try. It is super easy to make and so, so, so flavorful! One of the key differences between this dish and original is the amount of crawfish used. I used a LOT of crawfish tails. So good! So don’t skimp on the crawfish!

Crawfish Phoebe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) of rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • Cajun seasoning (I prefer Tony Chachare’s, but you do you.)
  • 1/2 cup of dry, white wine
  • 2 cups (1 pint) of heavy whipping cream
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 12-ounce packages of crawfish tails
  • 1 bunch of green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup of Parmesan, grated from the block

Instructions:

  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta for 9-10 minutes. Reserve a cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and cover it. Set aside.
  • Place the crawfish into a large bowl and sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning. Stir to coat all the crawfish. Set aside.
  • In a very large skillet, melt the butter completely and sauté the onions over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally. This should take 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the wine and turn heat to a medium high. Bring to a bubbly simmer, stir occasionally, and allow the wine to almost completely evaporate out.
  • Add the cream and lemon juice and stir to completely combine. Turn heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it begins to slightly thicken.
  • Add the crawfish tails a few at a time, stirring to combine and bringing the mixture back to a simmer before adding more. Allow the crawfish to simmer in the sauce for about 3 minutes until heated through.
  • Add the parsley and green onions.
  • To the cooked pasta, add the olive oil and about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water. Stir to break the pasta up, adding more pasta water, if needed.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to completely combine.
  • When everything is combined, stir in about 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan.
  • Remove from the heat and stir again, tasting to be sure the seasoning is the way you like it.
  • Serve with more Parmesan on each serving.
Sautéing the onions.
Before the parsley and onions and pasta. LOOK at all those crawfish tails!!

Well Duh #1: You can use whatever Cajun seasoning you prefer. My favorite is Tony’s.

Well Duh #2: You can use a different cut of pasta. Just be sure that it’s one that will hold onto the sauce.

Well Duh #3: Use real butter. I implore you. And use salted butter. Please.

Well Duh #4: I chopped the onion in advance and put it in a container with a lid. I also chopped the parsley and green onions and put them in a separate lidded container. I did this about two hours before I started cooking the rest of the dish, but you could really do it the day before. Keep the onions separate from the parsley and green onions since they are cooked separately.

Well Duh #5: The grated Parmesan in the shaker WILL NOT work in this dish. It has been dried and really won’t melt the right way. Even the container of shredded Parmesan won’t do. For this dish, you really need the wedge and a fine grater. I DESPISE grating cheese, but I sucked it up and stood at the counter and grated that cheese! I did this around the same time that I prepared the onions and parsley, put it in a separate container, and stuck it in the fridge until it was time to use it.

Well Duh #6: Crawfish tails are EXPENSIVE! There’s really no way around it. A 12-ounce package of frozen crawfish tails will cost somewhere between 9-15 dollars! And I live in Louisiana – where you can literally catch a crawfish or two in your front ditch now and then. The key to making this dish is not to buy all the crawfish at once. I bought the three packages needed over a period of 2 months. Really. Oh! And these are COOKED. They come that way in the package. So you’re not really cooking them. You’re just warming them through.

Well Duh #7: We don’t drink alcohol. I bought a bottle of cooking wine and we were fine with that. If you have regular white wine, use it. If you really don’t want to use wine at all, just use chicken stock. It’s just a 1/2 cup. It’s not going to make or break the recipe.

Well Duh #8: If you forget and drain your pasta without reserving the pasta water, please don’t fret. It is not a deal breaker! Just use warm water. It will be fine. I promise.

The tribe has spoken and I will definitely be making this again! I already have one package of crawfish tails on next week’s grocery list! As I’m typing this, Michael just heated up one of the containers of leftovers and had it for lunch. He said it hadn’t dried out at all and was still creamy and delicious.

Definitely a keeper!

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