One of my favorite parts about cooking and eating are all the different ways it can bring people together. There's just something soulful about eating with your hands, barefoot in the grass, drinking beer and getting rowdy with friends and what better way to do that than with a Crawfish Boil? With a small window of cool breezy nights here in Texas, it always seem to conveniently fall around Crawfish season so I knew no time should be wasted!
So how does one have a crawfish boil? Well there's four main elements: lots of crawfish, lots of friends, plenty of beer and one big ass pot. The most common places that usually carry crawfish are Asian markets or Fiesta, you can even order them online. Make sure you wash the crawfish thoroughly, after all their nickname is Mudbugs ... that gives you a clue as to how/where they spend most of their time. I usually like dumping them in a big kiddie pool and have someone rinse them til the water runs clear, you can also do this in a large pot as well.
My favorite place to have crawfish here in Dallas is at The Boiling Crab. However, what I don't love about that place are the long lines and the fact that they charge for water. I turn into a freaking camel when I eat crawfish, mostly because I like them spicy, like burn your lips and sweat dripping down your brow spicy. I scoured the internet and found a "copycat Boiling Crab recipe" and I'd gotta say, it was pretty stinkin close! I replaced the margarine with butter in this recipe but you can find the original recipe here. Plan for about 1-2 pounds of crawfish per person.
(yields 10-14 pounds of crawfish and shrimp)
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 bag louisiana crawfish, Crab, and Shrimp boil (get the yellow bag)
- cayenne pepper
- mccormick bayou cajun seasoning
- lemon pepper
- Old Bay Seasoning
- louisiana hot sauce
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 8-12 lbs crawfish, live
- 4 lbs shrimp, live
- 1 lb red potatoes, halved
- 8 ears white corn
- 1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch segments
Pour live crawfish into a washtub or ice chest; cover with water. Drain. Repeat 3 to 4 times until crawfish are clean. Drain. Discard any dead crawfish and debris.
Rinse shrimp and set aside in bowl.
Cook crawfish and shrimp by boiling in hot water with the Louisiana Crawfish Boil, quartered lemon, potatoes, corn and sausage (add potatoes, corn, and sausage 15 minutes prior to crawfish and add the shrimp at the very end as it only takes 5 minutes to cook). While they are cooking make the sauce:.
Melt the butter over low heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic and saute until translucent.
Then add about 3 tsp each of Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, paprika and Louisiana Hot Sauce. When you have the mixture right, add a bit of lemon juice (about half a lemon).
Set butter mixture aside.
Grab two large bowls. Using a strainer, strain one bowl for the corn and sausage and strain another bowl for crawfish, shrimp and potatoes.
Take a thick large plastic bag (you can also do this in a large bowl) dump the crawfish, shrimp and potatoes in with your butter mixture and toss gently, making sure everything is evenly coated.
Spread across the table with corn and sausage and serve!
Now once the crawfish is cooked and ready, line a large table with newspaper or paper bags and spread the cooked crawfish all over. Grab some metal bowls for shells and remember to have plenty of paper towels nearby, jugs of water and beer, and some extra condiments like cajun seasoning, lemons and ketchup.
Get dirty, have fun and be prepared to sweat!