1/2 pound peeled crawfish tails (you can substitute shrimp if you can't find crawfish)
green onions, diced
several dashes hot sauce (such as Crystal)
cooked white or brown rice
Heat a medium-sized, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add the butter to the bacon grease in the pan and stir in the onion, celery, bell pepper and jalapeño. Saute until vegetables are softened and slightly translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle the flour and ground bay leaves over the vegetables and stir until vegetables are coated with the flour, cooking for about 1 minute. Stir in the clam juice or chicken stock (whichever you're using) and water and bring to a low boil, cooking for one minute until sauce has thickened.
Stir in the worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and chopped tomato and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper Stir in the crawfish or shrimp and simmer an additional 5-6 minutes until the seafood is just cooked.
Spoon rice onto a plate and top with a generous portion of étouffée. Sprinkle with parsley, chopped green onions and a dash of Crystal Hot Sauce or other favorite hot sauce - and don't forget that crispy bacon -- definitely sprinkle some of that on top! Recipe can easily be doubled.