Friday, September 12, 2014

Crawfish Boil

      Every spring I think about the new things that will pop up in my garden and in my life. There is nothing more that I look forward to than a fresh start and a new spring. This includes crawfish! I love them and all things new that come with spring; like morels, ramps, spring peas and flowering bulbs. Since moving to Nashville six years ago we are way closer to the Gulf  and to Louisiana, where they farm crawfish in the spring season.

       I was lucky enough to find a great purveyor of these little fresh water bugs, Steamboat Bill's Louisiana Seafood. They also carry Gulf shrimp, soft shell crabs, boudin and andouille sausage all straight from Louisiana, all a day away. You can order already cooked or live crawfish. I prefer the live because I like to season mine really well and the boiling part of it is the whole reason to invite over a plethora of people to drink cold beer and hang out while the food is cooking.

      When I get my crawfish home, I rinse them off and sort the dead ones out and then throw them into a clean cooler of bucket with ice on the bottom. They then go into the fridge; if I plan on cooking them the day after I get them. If I'm cooking them the day of I then just keep them in the buckets, in the fridge until cooking time.

      You can buy the pot to boil the crawfish at Home Depot or Lowes. I get my seasoning from Gulf Pride at The Factory in Franklin. It's close to my house and they always have fresh seafood, the seasonings and dressings for great seafood. I use two seasonings: Zatarain's powdered crab boil and Zatarain's liquid crab boil.
        I also add about 5 peeled and sliced white onions and about 6 whole bulbs of garlic just cut in half. I also added about 6 lemons halved and you can add sliced hot peppers to the mixture too, if you like it spicey. I left these out because most of my guest are newly southern and the seasoning I use is spicey enough without them.The reason I use these two seasonings is they both have completely different flavor profiles and they both work in different ways. The powder has some heat and the liquid has a bit of oil and also some herbs that really stick to the crawfish. Once you are ready to start fill your boiler up with water, I would do about half way. Add your seasonings and start heating your mixture. Once the mixture is boiling you can add your sides for the crawfish such as cut corn on the cob, red skinned potatoes and sausage. I let these ingredients boil for a good 20 minutes before I add the crawfish. Once your sides are about done add the crawfish. Only boil them for about 5 minutes or until they are just pink. Drain and serve on new paper and be sure to provide buckets for the shells. I usually serve ramelade and cocktail sauce for dipping and also some Tony Chachere's creole seasoning for those who want more of a bite. Needless to say everyone enjoyed it! I plan on doing this every year as an annual get together.

Have questions, leave a comment and I will personally respond.

Photo credit: Joelle Quandt, Jessie Schultz, Bucky Elliot and Stacey Sides

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