Crawfish Cardinal

Crawfish Cardinal on rice

Crawfish Cardinal or Cardinale. Either way, this dish gets it’s name from the beautiful bird and it’s color from tomato in the sauce.

This is a favorite Creole recipe found while visiting New Orleans. It’s easy to make and a perfect use of leftovers from a crawfish boil or begin with uncooked tails.

And just one more thing…
Be ready when someone gets word you’re fixin’ to have crawfish, because you might just hear them yell “Ayeeee, envie”. That means a cajun is happy. Print

Crawfish Cardinal

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5 from 1 review

Seasoned Crawfish Tails in Cardinale Sauce on Rice

  • Author: TJ
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Crawfish Cardinal
  • 1-1/2 cups bechamel sauce
  • 1 TBL butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 21/2 cups crawfish tails
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 TBL tomato paste
  • Sea salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Serve over rice, on toast points or by itself
  • Pair with a nice white wine

Bechamel Sauce 

  • 11/2 cups scalded milk (hot, but not boiling)
  • 2 TBL butter
  • 2 TBL flour
  • salt
  • ground white pepper


Bechamel Sauce Instructions

  1. Scald the milk just shy of a boil
  2. Melt the butter and stir in the flour 1 TBL at a time until it becomes slightly foamy
  3. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, then immediately turn down to a simmer
  4. Season with a pinch salt and white pepper to taste
  5. Remove from heat and place a pat of butter on top to prevent a film from forming
  6. Set aside off the heat


Crawfish Cardinal Instructions

  1. Saute the green onions in butter until limp
  2. Add the wine and bring to a boil
  3. Add the crawfish and A) If raw, cook until firm, or B) If already pre-cooked, long enough to heat through
  4. Whisk the egg yolks into the warm, not hot bechamel
  5. Stir the bechamel mixture into the cooked crawfish
  6. Stir in the tomato paste
  7. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper
  8. Continue to simmer for 5 more minutes
  9. Taste and adjust final seasoning, turn off the heat and let set for another 5 minutes to let the flavors harmonize

Crawfish in wine Crawfish in Cardinal Sauce