Cajun Crawfish Blog

Crawfish Myths: Use Salt to Purge Your Crawfish

crawfish myths

Crawfish boils are more than tradition in Southern Louisiana; they’re a way of life.

More than a simple get-together, crawfish boils bring family and friends together to eat, smile and reminisce. Every year, Cajuns and regular people throughout the Pelican State wait (somewhat patiently) for the first crawfish drive thrus to pop up throughout their community. Not long after, the smell of boiling crawfish wafts through the air.

As with any tradition, crawfish and crawfish boils come with their fair share of myths. One of the most commonly held of these is that the best way to clean crawfish is by rinsing them in salt water – or even simply placing them in a tub of salt water. This is an old wives tale, and not something we recommend.

Crawfish excrete waste through their gills, and purging takes time. While a salt rinse may clean the existing waste from their gills, it will not force the crawfish to purge themselves and eliminate waste from their intestines.

If you truly want to purge crawfish, they need to be flushed for several hours with extremely-fresh, oxygenated water. We began doing this to keep our inventory healthy, but learned that crawfish actually purge themselves while fasting in the fresh, clear water. While labor-intensive, we feel it is the best way to ensure our crawfish are purged and ready to eat.

While we keep our crawfish in this hyper-environment right up until they are shipped, we still recommend rinsing them off with a cool hose once you receive them to not only refresh them, but give them a final shower. Usually the crawfish finish the perge on the trip to you.

You can go ahead and save your salt!

 

Crawfish Myths: Can You Eat Straight-Tail Crawfish?

crawfish myths

If you live in Southern Louisiana, chances are you have been to a crawfish boil.

Crawfish boils are a tradition that are passed down through families with each having their own unique customs, recipes, and etiquette. Some things are constant throughout nearly all boils, however, including what is considered the gospel truth among Louisianans: Never eat the straight-tail crawfish.

One of the first things you learn at a crawfish boil is do not eat the straight-tail crawfish. Supposedly, straight tail crawfish were dead before the boil and are therefore not safe to eat. This bit of advice has been passed down from generation to generation, and it’s one of the most popular myths about crawfish.

Why do crawfish curl when cooked? The abdomen of crustaceans, such as crawfish, usually curls as a result of muscle contraction when cooked. Therefore, the assumption is if their abdomens are decaying or decomposed in any way, it could prevent the muscle from contracting. However, research done by the LSU AgCenter has shown there is no difference in tail curl between crawfish that were alive when boiled and ones who were already dead. The researchers determined the straight tail was most likely a result of putting too many crawfish in the pot at once.

There’s a better way to test if the crawfish is truly edible. If the meat is mushy or crumbles, don’t eat it. Otherwise it should be fine to eat, regardless of the tail curl.

Classic Crawfish Etouffee

 

Serves 4

1 cup onion, chopped

1/4  cup butter + 1 tbs.

1/4 cup All Purpose flour

1/4 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup sweet green pepper, chopped

2 tbs. garlic, minced

1 tbs. tomato paste

2 tsp. salt

1 lb. Louisiana crawfish tail meat, including fat

 

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper

3 cups water (or stock)

1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbs. lemon juice

1/4 cup green onion, minced

1 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

Hot Louisiana rice

 

In large saucepan or cast iron pot, melt . cup butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5-6 min until onions begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium, add our, stirring constantly for 5-6 min creating a roux. Cook until roux is light brown/reddish in color. Add reserved 1tbs. butter, celery, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add water, Worcestershire, and lemon juice then bring to a boil. Add crawsh tail meat (with the fat from package) and green onions, then bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes until crawsh tails are heated through and sauce has thickened. Turn o heat and stir in parsley. Serve immediately over hot, cooked rice.

John Madden & Turduckens

While the Turducken has a long, and illustrious history, they have really gained in popularity in the past couple of decades. The reasons for this are many, but one of the major contributors to the growth in Turducken popularity and sales in none other than football commentator, John Madden.

John Madden’s love for the Turducken is well-known among football fans, but people less familiar with the sport – and even the casual fan – may not be familiar with how the love affair began.

The First Taste

It all started in New Orleans. Mr. Madden was presented a Turducken during a broadcast of a Saints game. In his own words, he described the experience:

“The first one I ever had I was doing a game in New Orleans,” Mr. Madden said. ”The P.R. guy for the Saints brought me one. And he brought it to the booth. It smelled and looked so good. I didn’t have any plates or silverware or anything, and I just started eating it with my hands.”

This began a love – which sometimes seemed to border on obsession – and became a common theme during the football season for many years to come. When Mr. Madden would do broadcasts, he would reference the Turducken consistently. In fact, he even brought a Turducken onto a 1997 broadcast on Thanksgiving and began carving it on air.

Turducken Awards

John Madden’s love of the Turducken was so profound that he even began giving Turduckens away to players for a great game. During the Thanksgiving Bowl on Fox Sports, he awarded the players of the winning team a Turducken for their win.

The Turducken references and sighting went on for years, and while John Madden stopped referencing the delicacy for one reason or another, the Turducken name was forever carved into the hearts and minds of football fans across America.

If you are interested to see what all the fuss was about, we sell delicious Turduckens that you can purchase for your holiday gathering or simply for something unique next Sunday. Check out our Turducken page to learn more and buy one today!

Sorry, So Far No Dang! That’s Big Live Crawfish for 2015

Here at Cajun Crawfish we pride ourselves on providing the best possible product for our customers.

crawfish-guarantee

We grade our boat run crawfish, as well as wash and clean each and every crawfish we sell. This allows us to provide the best graded live crawfish on the market, with no turtles or snakes in our crawfish sacks – meaning you get nothing but quality crawfish when you buy from us!

This year – thanks to weather and breeding conditions – we have a huge supply of crawfish to sell. Unfortunately, this also means that with more crawfish, they do not have the opportunity to grow to a size we feel comfortable labeling as Dang! That’s Big.

If you are looking forward to your upcoming crawfish boil, however, there is no reason to worry. We still have plenty of crawfish, including our large crawfish, big enough to still brag about. And while the size may not be gigantic, the taste is just as big!

Crawfish Questions: How much crawfish per person?

If you want to have a party or get together for your family and friends, a crawfish boil is a great way to make sure the party is a success. The smell of a crawfish boil will entice your guests to eat (and may even get you a few stragglers from the neighborhood), so it is important to order enough crawfish to feed everyone.

crawfish boil

One of the most common questions we hear at Cajun Crawfish is “how many pounds of crawfish should I order”?

A good guideline for any crawfish boil is 3 pounds per person. However, it is important to take your guests into consideration when you place your order. For example, if your guests are big eaters, you may want to order 5 pounds for those individuals.

Now, if you’re down our way a Cajun will eat 7-10 pounds, so you may need to take out a small loan if you’re having a big boil! The most important thing to remember is it’s all about having fun and eating great food, and combining your live crawfish with a good gumbo and some delicious Cajun treats will make any crawfish boil a success!

Keep in mind, if you order too much, they are delicious cold the next day (stored in your frig or just in ice chest with ice on them). Or our favorite, is to peel the leftovers and make crawfish potato soup with the leftover potatoes, corn and crawfish… it’s so easy and delicious )

Have any questions about crawfish or our company? Let us know in the comments below or share your favorite crawfish boil memory.

Crawfish Festivals 2015

It’s that time of year again. The weather is warming up, the trees are beginning to turn green and the smell of crawfish is in the air. In Southern Louisiana, the distinct scent of boiling crawfish is one of the sure signs that Spring is finally here. Crawfish are a long-standing tradition down here, and we show our love of these crustaceans with festivals throughout the state.

crawfish festivals

Louisiana isn’t the only state that celebrates the crawfish, however, and there are a number of festivals throughout the United States. Here are a few of our favorites:

    • Mudbug Madness in Shreveport, LA – On Memorial Day Weekend, May 21-24, head on over to Shreveport for Mudbug Madness. Voted one of the 100 best events for 2015, Mudbug Madness celebrates all things Louisiana for their 31st year. They must be doing something right.

 

    • Crawfest in New Orleans, LA – On April 18, Tulane University in New Orleans offers up more than 20,000 pounds of Crawfish, music, art, and fun at the Uptown campus for the annual Crawfest. Tickets are only $10 and free for Tulane students, which includes UNLIMITED Crawfish!

 

    • Pensacola Crawfish Festival in Pensacola, FL – Come out and “laissezlesbon temps rouler” from May 4-6 on the beautiful waterfront of downtown Pensacola. With more than 16,000 pounds of live, boiled Crawfish, great music, art, and plenty to do for the kids, the Pensacola Crawfish Festival is great for the whole family!

 

    • Texas Crawfish & Music Festival in Spring, TX – Over two weekends in Old Town Spring, Texas, – April 24-25 & May 1-3 – you can enjoy Country & Zydeco music on two stages, plenty of Crawfish and fun for the whole family. There is even $2 admission Zydeco Fridays. The Texas Crawfish & Music Festival is one not to miss!

 

    • The Louisiana Swamp Thing & Crawfish Festival in Austin, TX – On April 25, 2015 the city of Austin celebrates all things Louisiana with 10 bands, featuring Cajun and Zydeco music, and more than 7,000 pounds of Crawfish. Stay for the day and see what the Louisiana Swamp Thing & Crawfish Festival has to offer!

 

    • Crawfish Music Festival in Biloxi, MS – The Crawfish Music Festival is the most fun you will have…twice! On April 16-19 and then again the following weekend, April 23-26, more than 10,000 people show up to the Crawfish Music Festival in Biloxi for great fun, great music, rides, artists, and of course, Crawfish!

 

    • Gator by the Bay Festival in San Diego, CA – For four days, from May 7 – 10, 2015, the San Diego Bay area pulls out all the stops with Zydeco, Blues, dancing and more than 10,000 pounds of Crawfish! Put on in part by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Gator by the Bay festival is the “most Fun You’ll Find This Side of the Bayou”.

 

    • Gumbo Ya Ya in Rock Island, IL – Catch the spirit of the French Quarter as they celebrate in downtown Rock Island, Il in the District! Cajun foods, Cajun music, and of course a lot of Crawfish make Mardi Gras in the District a great time every year! This year’s Gumbo Ya Ya takes place June 12 & 13.

 

Have any other crawfish festivals you think we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Crawfish Questions: Can Pregnant Women Eat Crawfish?

pregnant woman with crawfish

It’s crawfish season again and people across the country – and especially in Louisiana – are gearing up to enjoy delicious, live crawfish at their next boil. Every year, we get a lot of questions about crawfish, cooking instructions, and how much crawfish are in a serving.

One question we get often – and one that is very important – is whether women can eat crawfish while they are pregnant.

This is a great question, and due to high levels of mercury in some types of fish, it is an important thing to consider, especially since the FDA recommends that pregnant women limit the amount of seafood they eat.

Fortunately for crawfish lovers, crawfish is in the class of seafood that is considered to have the lowest levels of mercury by the American Pregnancy Association, as long as it is fully cooked.

If you limit your crawfish to no more than 12 ounces per week, you can enjoy these delicious crustaceans without worry, especially the farm-raised varieties, like our live crawfish.

 

Have any questions about crawfish you would like answered? Leave us a comment below!

And if you would like to order delicious live crawfish for your next boil, check out our great selection, which we will deliver right to your door!

Crawfacts: 13 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Crawfish

Crawfish – or crayfish, or mudbugs, or crawdads, depending on your region and upbringing – are a staple here in Southern Louisiana during the spring and summer. Over the years, crawfish popularity has grown throughout the world, with crawfish actually becoming a delicacy in many European countries.

13 facts about crawfish

It’s good to know the world is finally starting to figure out what we here in Louisiana have known for generations, and to celebrate this, here are 13 facts about these delicious crustaceans that you probably didn’t know – unless you’re a true crawfish enthusiast.

  1. Crawfish come in a variety of colors. The most common is red, but crawfish also come in blues, whites, greens, and yellow. When cooked, however, all crawfish turn the color red.
  2. Crawfish are a close relative of the lobster. In fact, crawfish are more closely related to the Maine lobster than other types of lobster in the oceans. They are so close in taste that there was a recent incident in which a New York restaurant was using crawfish in place of lobster in their lobster salad – and no one noticed.
  3. There are more than 500 species of crawfish found throughout the world, and more than 350 of those live in the United States. Of these, only two species are actually harvested and eaten.
  4. Crawfish live on every continent in the world except for Antarctica and Africa.
  5. The crawfish is the Official Crustacean of the State of Louisiana – and Louisiana is the first state to actually have an Official Crustacean.
  6. Crawfish have eight pairs of legs, four are used for walking, and four are used for swimming.
  7. There is a crawfish known as the dwarf crawfish and it is very small.
  8. Crawfish can regenerate lost limbs, which come in very useful during mating season when males can get very competitive and aggressive.
  9. Crawfish have been on Earth for a very long time. In fact, the earliest found crawfish fossil is 30 million years old, and they have found crawfish burrows dating back 100 million years in Australia.
  10. Speaking of Australia, while most crawfish in the U.S. grows to 3-4 inches, there are species Down Under that grow to 15.5 inches and weigh more than 8 pounds – and no, they are not lobsters!
  11. Crawfish have extremely good eyesight and can move their eyes independently of one another.
  12. Crawfish reach adult size in about four years, but can actually live up to 30 years in the wild.
  13. Crawfish walk forward, but swim backward using their abdomen muscles. They actually move much faster backward while swimming.

If all this knowledge built up an appetite, be sure to buy some delicious, live crawfish for your next crawfish boil! Cajun Crawfish grows our own crawfish right here on the farm and will deliver them right to your door fast and fresh.

How to Cook a Turducken – With Video

The holidays are just around the corner and if you are looking for something to make this year’s dinner really stand out look no further than our great selection of Turduckens.

What is a turducken, you ask?

truducken_for blog

 

Well, it’s not actually magic, but it sure feels like it when you take that first bite. This is because, as the name implies, the Turducken is much more than your traditional holiday bird. It is a combination of delicious deboned chicken, which is stuffed inside a duck, which is then stuffed inside a turkey. The result is a culinary masterpiece unlike any you have tasted before.

One of the biggest questions we get is how to cook turduckens to get the best results. For this reason, we have created the following instructional video with steps on how to cook turducken.

Turducken Instructions

  1. Thawing the Turducken – To thaw your turducken, remove it from the box and thaw inside your refrigerator for 48 – 72 hours. It is important that the turducken is completely thawed before cooking.
  2. Preheat the Oven – Set the oven to 325 degrees farenheight and let it completely heat up before placing the bird(s) inside.
  3. Cooking the Turducken – Remove the turducken from the bag and place it in a roasting pan. Cover the turducken with aluminum foil and bake for 4 hours. Uncover the bird(s) and bake for an additional hour, or until the turducken’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  4. Let the Turducken Sit – Before slicing, it is important to let it sit for 20 – 30 minutes. This allows all those delicious juices to be absorbed into the meats, and not allow them to run out while carving. The end result will be both juicier meat and an easier carving experience.
  5. Carve the Turducken – We recommend an electric knife, but a good carving knife works just as well. Cut off the wings and the drumsticks, and then slice the rest of the turducken into slices between ½” and ¾” thick, then slide once down the middle.

If you are ready to take your holiday dinner to the next level buy a turducken today. All turduckens ship the next day so you have plenty of time to have it ready for your holiday meal!