Bruce Gallassero’s Mom’s Crawfish Étouffée

Here, market shopper and board member Bruce Gallassero shares a recipe from his mom, Shirley Vorenkamp. Shirley, a native of Breaux Bridge, created this city version of the dish, so divinely rich that it could also pass for the Creole dish Crawfish Cardinale.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk and cream (3/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup cream)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • salt and black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add celery, onion, and bell pepper and cook very slowly until vegetables are soft. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add milk and cream, adjusting the amounts to achieve the desired consistency. Add wine and brandy and cook for 10 minutes. Add crawfish tails and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until crawfish is done. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. About 5 minutes before serving, add green onions and parsley. Serve over rice or pasta, or in an omelet.

Serves 4-6

Recipe compliments of Bruce Gallassero

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Market Umbrella


Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers Market


The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.