This is a dish made in New Orleans.
An étouffée starts with crawfish that are finely chopped vegetables such as onion, celery, and bell pepper. A stock or water is added, the ingredients are simmered, then some sort of thickener such as cornstarch is added to make a sauce with the consistency of a thick gravy.
Meanwhile, long grain rice has been cooked, pressed into a cup which acts as a mould, then turned out with its shape into the centre of a plate. The Etouffée is then poured over and around the rice, and served.
Many people thicken it by starting with a roux. Unlike a gumbo, étouffée does not contain any okra or filé.
Etouffée comes from the French word “étouffer”, meaning to smother. Pronounced Ay 2 fay.
Crawfish is the word used in Louisiana for crayfish.