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Crawfish Monica Recipe

  • 15 min read

Monica’s is one of the most popular dishes on the menu at any restaurant that serves Louisiana cuisine.

It was named after a famous local chef who used to cook this delicious dish.

What Are The Ingredients In A Crawfish Monica Recipe?

The base or foundation of this dish is crawfish tails cooked in butter and served over rice.

The main ingredient is smoked sausage which adds flavor and texture to the dish.

On top of that, there are several other ingredients like tomatoes, green bell peppers, onions, celery, garlic, parsley, basil, lemon juice, and more.

Let us go through all these components together so we can understand how they come into play when cooking Crawfish Monica.

  • Crawfish (tails) – These have been cleaned from their shells, washed thoroughly, and then sautéed in butter until they become tender and cooked through.
  • Smoked Sausage – This has been cut up and browned before adding it to the pot along with some onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, tomato paste, and chicken stock.
  • The mixture will be simmered for about an hour until the flavors blend well together.
  • Tomatoes – There are different types of canned tomatoes available in grocery stores but if you prefer fresh ones, add them while simmering the sauce.
  • They need to be sliced or chopped finely to add good amount of flavor to the dish.
  • Green Bell Peppers – They should also be diced fine as they give great color to the dish.
  • Onions – Cut them thinly to ensure proper distribution throughout the dish.
  • Celery – Chopped or minced fine to distribute evenly across the pan.
  • Garlic – Finely chopped to release its flavorful oils.
  • Basil – A small bunch of dried leaves added during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  • Lemon Juice – A splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice just before serving helps brighten the colors.
Crawfish Monica Recipe

Parsley

A little bit goes a long way here because the dish already contains plenty of strong herbs like thyme, oregano, and sage.

So don’t worry too much if you think you won’t use enough parsley! Just sprinkle it on top of everything once the dish is done.

Rice

If you want to serve your guests something light to eat, try serving this dish over white rice instead of plain boiled rice.

If you choose to go with white rice, soak it overnight in water containing 2 tablespoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder.

Drain and rinse the rice twice before using it in the dish.

How Do You Make A Crawfish Monica?

A Crawfish Monica typically contains crawfish tails or legs, chicken livers, onions, bell peppers, celery, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, salt, pepper, parsley, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and Creole seasoning.

The base of the Monica starts off as a roux (a mixture of butter and flour) until it thickens into a paste.

Then, the paste is added to the remaining ingredients and cooked together until they become tender.

Finally, all of the ingredients are mixed together and served over white rice.

The name “Crawfish Monica” comes from the fact that the dish has many components similar to those found in a classic Italian pasta sauce.

However, there are some key differences between the two recipes.

For instance, pasta is not an ingredient in a Crawfish Monica.

Instead, the dish uses rice instead of noodles and it lacks tomatoes in its cooking process.

There are several different types of Monicas that can be prepared using different combinations of ingredients.

You might find a version that includes hot sausage links, another that adds crawfish meat to the mix, and yet another that combines both.

There may also be variations based on where you live.

If you like seafood, you should try out a recipe using shrimp, crabmeat, and lobster because these items are common ingredients in Louisiana cuisine.

Some people think that Monica’s have been around since colonial times but that cannot be true.

According to Wikipedia, the first restaurant known to serve such a dish was located in New Orleans during the 1930s.

In fact, in his book, A Culinary History of America, author Anthony Bourdain claims that the dish originated in Baton Rouge.

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What Is The History Of The Crawfish Monica Recipe?

The dish has been around since the 1930s but it didn’t gain popularity until Monica Gagliano decided to serve them in her New Orleans restaurant.

She would put pieces of crawfish meat into breadcrumbs along with other ingredients such as cheese or sausages and deep fry them.

Crawfish are native to South America and they have an incredible flavor when cooked properly.

They can be found in many parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.

In Louisiana, they are also known as “boilin’ boys” because they were traditionally boiled alive before serving.

In fact, some people still believe that eating live crawfish will cure cancer and diabetes.

The truth is that these little creatures aren’t poisonous unless eaten raw.

However, if they are undercooked, there could be bacteria present that causes food poisoning.

Even though Monica took the concept from another restaurant, she added her own twist to create something unique and special.

Her version uses fresh crabmeat instead of crawfish, which gives the dish more flavor.

It is now considered a classic dish that is served all over the world wherever Creole cuisine is available.

Who Created The Crawfish Monica Recipe?

The original creator of the Crawfish Monica recipe is Chef David Guas, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana.

He learned his craft from many different chefs, including his father and grandfather before him.

His specialty is Creole cooking, which he has been doing since childhood.

Crawfish Monica began as a simple seafood gumbo recipe.

In order to make it more unique, Chef Guas decided to add crawfish tails in addition to shrimp.

The result was an addictive meal that became very popular among locals and tourists alike.

In 2001, Chef Guas opened the first Monica’s Seafood Restaurant, which quickly gained popularity throughout Louisiana.

By 2013, there were three Monica’s restaurants located across the state.

Today, Chef Guas owns and operates five Monica’s locations, all within the Greater New Orleans area.

Monica’s Seafood Restaurant is known for its fresh seafood.

They use only locally caught fish, shellfish, and crawfish.

Every item they serve comes straight from their own fishing boats.

Chef Guas also believes in using seasonal ingredients whenever possible.

Many people associate the term “seasonal” with produce or other foods that go bad once winter arrives.

However, Chef Guas does not see food as having seasons but rather sees them as “seasons.”

According to him, every type of fruit can be harvested during the summer months.

So, while you may think strawberries will never come out again once the temperature drops below freezing, Chef Guas encourages customers to eat those berries now because they won’t last long once the weather gets colder.

Another thing that sets Monica’s apart from other restaurants is how much attention they pay to customer service.

Their staff members are always happy to help you find what you want to eat, whether it’s something new or something old.

There is no need to worry about finding your way around if you speak little French or English.

You can just ask for directions and someone will have everything ready for you when you arrive.

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What Are The Variations Of The Crawfish Monica Recipe?

The original Crawfish Monica includes a variety of ingredients including fresh corn off the cob, tomatoes, green bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, Creole seasoning, bacon bits, hot sauce, and seafood seasonings.

The following recipes use different combinations of these same basic elements but vary in how they incorporate them into their own unique creations.

  • Crawfish Cornbread Casserole – A creamy casserole dish filled with cornbread chunks, crawfish tails, cheese, milk, and butter.
  • Shrimp & Grits – Shrimp cooked with grits and topped with melted butter, hot sauce, and cream cheese.
  • Crawfish Boudin Balls – Bite-sized balls stuffed with crawfish and served over rice or jasmine rice.

Spicy Shrimp & Grits

This spicy shrimp and grits recipe features sweet potatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes as well as a hint of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes.

If you like your food extra spicy, feel free to add more than 1/4 teaspoon.

Serve with crusty bread and some lemon wedges for dipping.

You can also try serving it with a side of black beans if you want an even healthier meal option.

  • Ingredients: 1 pound large shrimp (about 24), peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup frozen baby carrots
  • 1 package baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes for garnish

Creole Crab Cake

A traditional crab cake recipe, this version uses browned pork sausage instead of lump crabmeat.

Feel free to substitute other types of seafood such as blue crabs for a great alternative.

For best results, buy live Maine lobster rather than canned crab meat.

This will give you a much better flavor experience.

  • Ingredients: 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through for shells and cartilage
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions, plus additional for sprinkling
  • Pork Sausage (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Cooked pasta or rice, for serving

Jambalaya

If you prefer something lighter, this Jambalaya recipe makes a perfect dinner when you don’t have time to make a full meal.

Just be sure not to overcook your chicken breasts so they aren’t dry! Try adding fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary too.

They would pair nicely with the Creole seasoning mixture found in the Spicy Shrimp & Grits recipe above.

Serve with a salad and crusty French baguette slices.

  • Ingredients: 5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water to cover
  • Fresh parsley, for garnishing

How Many People Does The Crawfish Monica Recipe Serve?

The Crawfish Monica recipe has been around since the early 1900’s, so it must be good!

The original recipe calls for four pounds of crawfish tails, but if you don’t have access to them, substitute shrimp or lobster instead.

You can also add some fresh crabmeat to make it more authentic.

In addition, you will need about 2 cups of shredded cabbage, 8 ounces of cooked bacon (cut into small pieces), 1/4 cup of chopped green onions, 4 slices of country ham, 1 tablespoon each of minced garlic and thyme, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of hot sauce.

If you want to spice up your meal even further, you could use allspice, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and paprika in place of the regular seasonings.

If you want to get a bit fancy, you can top off the whole thing with some homemade Creole cream cheese.

Just mix together two teaspoons of butter, two tablespoons of sour cream, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, and pinch of dry mustard powder until smooth.

Spread over the entire plate before adding the remaining ingredients.

What Are The Nutrition Facts Of A Crawfish Monica Recipe?

The nutrition facts of the Crawfish Monica recipe include calories per serving, grams of protein and carbohydrates, fat content, sodium, and more.

  • Calories per Serving: 472
  • Grams of Protein: 30
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Fat Content: 26 g
  • Sodium: 632 mg
  • Fiber: 7 g

This simple dish has just as much flavor as it does nutrients.

In fact, you can add some extra nutritional value by using fresh ingredients such as veggies or other seafood instead of canned ones.

The only problem with this dish is that it isn’t very healthy because it contains so much saturated fatty acids in the form of butter and lard.

Is The Crawfish Monica Recipe Vegan?

The answer here depends on what you mean by “vegan”.

If you think it means no animal products whatsoever, then yes, this recipe is definitely not vegan.

Crawfish are meaty little crustaceans, so there isn’t anything in this recipe that would qualify as an animal product.

However, crawfish are also known to be high in cholesterol (especially if they have been frozen), so you might want to limit your consumption of them or consider substituting shrimp instead.

If you want to make sure that something is truly vegan, check out our guide to vegan recipes.

You can find more information about the ingredients in this particular recipe here.

Is The Crawfish Monica Recipe Glutenfree?

This dish uses both sweet and hot peppers in addition to garlic and onions.

The result is an intense flavor profile.

The ingredients list includes shrimp, crabmeat, crawfish tails, and cornbread croutons.

There isn’t much meat on these croutons, but they add a great crunch to the dish without being too heavy.

It also contains celery, bell pepper, green onion, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest.

These flavors come from allspice, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, salt, sugar, and white vinegar.

While many people love this dish because it has so many different tastes and textures, others might find it overwhelming or even off-putting due to its spicy nature.

If you have a Celiac disease diagnosis or if your doctor recommends avoiding glutens, then you should probably steer clear of this dish.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye grains as well as certain types of oats, spelt flour, triticale, kamut, durum flour, semolina, and flours derived from those grains.

What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Crawfish Monica Recipe?

The key to making this dish perfectly (and keeping it from getting soggy) is not only having all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking, but also knowing what to do when the dish goes from hot to warm to cold in just a few minutes.

  • Crawfish can be tough so make sure you have them cleaned beforehand.
  • When removing the meat from the shell, use a knife or pair of scissors instead of tweezers because they will help avoid tearing up the delicate flesh inside.
  • Sautéing the onions first gives the whole dish a great flavor.
  • Once cooked, add more water if needed and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • You should serve this dish immediately as soon as it comes out of the oven.
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Crawfish Monica Recipe

Monica’s is one of the most popular dishes on the menu at any restaurant that serves Louisiana cuisine.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crawfish Monica Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 1129kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Crawfish Tails
  • 1 lb Rotini Pasta
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter unsalted
  • 3 Shallots chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 4 Green Onions chopped
  • ¼ Cup Parsley chopped
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese freshly grated

Instructions

  • To get one pound of tails, peel the crawfish. Place aside. (If using frozen crawfish tails, be sure to defrost them first.)
  • As directed on the package, cook the pasta until it is al dente. The pasta water is saved in a cup after draining and setting aside.
  • Melt the butter in a sizable, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat.
  • When the shallots are transparent, add them and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Cook for 2 minutes more after adding the minced garlic.
  • Add the Cayenne Pepper and Creole Seasoning by stirring.
  • White wine is added; stir.
  • Mix in the heavy cream gradually. Stirring.
  • Stir in the lemon juice.
  • Stir in the crawfish tails after adding them to the sauce. Cook until bubbling for roughly 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped parsley and green onions after mixing.
  • Stir until melted before adding the shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Stir the sauce with the cooked pasta after adding it. Add a little pasta water back into the mixture if you think the sauce is too thick.

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Nutrition

Calories: 1129kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 43g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 596mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3485IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 443mg | Iron: 3mg
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