Summer is crawfish season, and we’re able to get tails at a reasonable price, so let’s make a pot of Crawfish Étouffée, or a tasty Crawfish Spread, or maybe Crawfish Chajitas. This classic étouffée recipe is easy enough for a novice cook. Take the time to have all the ingredients chopped and measured before you start; after that, it’s a breeze. The crawfish will make their own gravy if you cover the pot and let them slowly simmer in the roux and softened vegetables.

Many cooks will add a can of cream of shrimp or cream of celery soup to this étouffée recipe at the end. That increases the amount of gravy and produces a creamier and thicker gravy most of the time. I do not add the soup, because my family always had the thinner gravy, but try it both ways and decide which you prefer.

For an appetizer, present this platter of sautéed crawfish on top of flavored cream cheese and sautéed spinach.

The crawfish and seasoning for the chajitas cooks in the microwave in five minutes. The recipe suggested flour tortillas, but they also would be good with crispy corn taco shells. You could also offer black beans, avocados, tomatoes or sour cream for toppings.

Fresh peeled crawfish tails are in the store now, but carefully check the package and make sure they’re Louisiana crawfish. Wait for the compliments when you serve either of these recipes.