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The Perfect Crawfish Boil

crawfish boil etiquette

To create the perfect crawfish boil you’ll need live crawfish, some vegetables, a pot, burner, propane, a good amount of Fruge’s seasoning, and some good people to share the experience with.

  1. When getting your crawfish, you’ll want to get farm-raised live crawfish and be sure to have enough for everyone (usually about 3-5 pounds per person).
  2. Next you need to think about your sides. The standard is just some potatoes and corn on the cob but you can also have mushrooms, onions, garlic, lemons, artichokes, and some even put cut up hot dogs or sausage in the pot too. The sides may seem simple but they play a large part in the experience and can make or break a boil.
  3. Your equipment should be a large pot, depending on the amount you are planning to boil. A 60 or 80 qt. can boil up to a sack (30 lbs.) at a time. If you are just cooking 10/20 lbs, a 20 quart is fine. You will also need a burner to put the pot on (unless you are doing it on the stove), and some propane so you can actually have a boil.
  4. To ensure that your crawfish taste great you’ll need the right type of seasoning. You have multiple types of seasoning to boil with and it all comes down to what you prefer. Fruge seasoning is a wonderful choice. We took years to come up with the perfect blend. It’s perfect for a layered effect. The more you put on, the spicier it gets, so you can choose how much is perfect for you. Dry seasoning is very useful because you can not only season the water with it but can add seasoning to the crawfish after they are out of the water.
  5. Now, one of the most important parts of the crawfish boil are the people you share it with. With the right group, the boil should be just as fun as when you are eating the crawfish so choose some close friends that you can knock back a beer with a make it a party because nothing says a good time like a crawfish boil.

Now that you know what you will need, lets talk about how to make your food taste the best.

  1. Start by filling the pot a little more than half way and begin heating up the water to cook your sides. For the best results, you can add a little bit of seasoning (about half a pound) but that is your choice and they will still turn out great without it. After you have finished the sides be sure to put them in an ice chest to stay hot while you cook the crawfish.
  2. Before dropping in the crawfish, you’ll want to add some more seasoning (anywhere from 1-3 extra pounds) to the water and then bring the water to a boil. Usually we suggest 1 lb. of seasoning per 10 lbs. of crawfish. Once that water is bubbling, you can add the crawfish.
  3. When cooking the crawdads, you only want to boil about one sack at a time. They should take about 5 minutes and you can take them out when you can see the crawfish floating in the water (pro tip: before removing the crawfish, use a hose and spray water in the pot by dunking the end of the hose in and out of the pot. This will make the crawfish soak up water and be more juicy to eat).
  4. When the crawfish are done, take them out and pour into a large ice chest while someone sprinkles more dry seasoning on them (.5-2 pounds of seasoning) and then close the lid and shake them up a little. Repeat these steps until you are out of crawfish to cook.

Now its time to eat, you can choose to eat with trays or just dump them on the table. Grab from the pile but be sure to have some paper towels nearby because they can be pretty messy. Be sure before you begin to grab a cold beer because you have just pulled off the perfect crawfish boil and you deserve a drink.

Alligator Etouffee, the Easy Way

Ingredients
1 pound Alligator meat from cajuncrawfish.com (cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 lb Butter
1/2 cup Green Onions (chopped)
1/8 cup Parsley (chopped)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 Celery stalks (chopped)
1 can of Stewed Tomatoes
Salt, Pepper and Slap Ya Mama Seasoning (to taste)

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and celery in butter. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15-20 minutes in black iron pot (covered). Add alligator meat and allow to cook over low heat until tender (1 hour). Serve over rice. Delicious.

Crawfish Pie with Cornmeal Crust

delicious crawfis hpie

Crawfish Pie Filling

  • 8 Tbs (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup EACH finely chopped white onions, green bell peppers, celery
  • 1 T Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fish or vegetable stock, warm
  • 1lb crawfish tails
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2Tbs chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 9-inch prepared pie crust (recipe follows)

Cornmeal pie crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Crawfish Tails for PiePulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt and sage in a food processor. Add butter and rosemary and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just incorporated.

If the dough doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition and test again.

Roll out the dough into one disk between two sheets of parchment paper to 12-inch round. Peel off top sheet of paper; invert dough into 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Peel off second sheet of paper. Gently press dough into pie dish, pressing any cracks together as needed to seal and leaving dough overhang.

Roll a rolling pin over the top of pan to trim the overhanging dough. Chill crust for 10 minutes.

Transfer pie crust to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove crust from the oven and let cool until crawfish mixture is prepared.

 

Crawfish pie

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, celery and cook until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add seasoning, cayenne, tomatoes. Dissolve the cornstarch and the stock in a small bowl and add it to the pan. Stir and cook the mixture for 10 minutes. Stir in crawfish, green onions and parsley. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the crawfish mixture into the prepared pie crust and bake for 40 minutes or until pie crust edges are golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Food Blogger Nikki Miller-KaNikki Miller-Ka is a food blogger, freelance writer and professional cook based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

She writes about her life as a foodie, culinary professional, and everything seasonal & regional for her blog, Nik Snacks. Bite it and write it. That’s what she does. Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications in the Southeast. She has worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. She travels with her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet, ready to cook at a moment’s notice.

H is for Holy Trinity

H is for Holy Trinity- Abc's of Cajun Cooking, Celery Onions and Bell pepper

The Cajun Holy Trinity or just Holy Trinity is a term used in Cajun and Creole cooking to describe the group of three essential aromatic vegetables: onion, bell pepper and celery. These three items are the base mixture for most recipes such as gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, sauces, stews and more.

The Term holy Trinity is appropriate in New Orleans culture where Christianity and Catholicism are so prevalent.
Just as the Father, SOn and Holy Spirit are the core of Christianity, Celery, Onion and Bell Pepper are at the core of Cajun Cooking.

G is for Gumbo – The ABC’s of Cajun Cooking

G is for Gumbo - The ABC's of Cajun Cooking

Gumbo is a dish that originated in Southern Louisiana during the 18th century. Cajun Gumbo typically begins with a roux of flour and some type of fat (butter, oil, lard). The color and underlying falvor of gumbo come from this roux, which is loving stired continuously until it turns a rich caramel color. Next comes the Cajun Holy Trinity (bell peppers, celery and onions) and often includes okra. A Meat or shellfish stock is added and some type of shellfish is often added (crawfish, shrimp, crab), and many Gumbo’s include Andouille sausage an chicken. Filé powder (ground sassafras ), is another key ingredient. The dish combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including West African, Creole, French, Spanish, German, and Choctaw.

Pinch Dat Tail and Suck Dat Head

Crawfish - Pinch dat Tail, Suck dat Head

Those of you familiar with crawfish know exactly what this saying means. But to everyone else out there, let me just say that it has nothing to do with the opposite sex.
What is the meaning of this cryptic phrase? Why, it’s non other than the exact advise you need to know how to eat a boiled crawfish!

As most of you know, the best part of the crawfish is the tail. That’s where most of the meat is. The pinch refers to the action (actually a pinch and a twist) that you need to take to release this tasty mudbug morsel from it’s red armored shell.  For some, this is the end of their crawfish experience, but for the rest of us adventurous eaters we know that the spicy Cajun juices and flavors are hidden in the front half, or the head, of the crawfish. This is the sucking part. “Sucking the Head” may not be for the faint-of-heart, but it’s well worth the risk as it may just be the most flavorful suck you ever embark on! If you want a further explanation of how this is all done, here’s detailed one: How To Peel & Eat Crawfish.

Enjoy and Laissez les crawfish rouler!

Order Live crawfish now!

F is for Filé – the ABC’s of Cajun Cooking

F is for Filé - The ABC's of Cajun Cooking

Flé powder, (or Gumbo filé powder) is a necessity for cooking authentic Cajun cuisine. It is also essential in Creole cooking.  Made from the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree, Filé has a cooling smell, reminiscent of eucalyptus crossed with juicy fruit gum. Filé powder is used for its unique flavor and aroma as much as it is used as a thickening agent for Soups and stews, especially Gumbo.

5 Unique Crawfish Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water

Crawfish and Nachos = Crawchos

Nachos and Crawfish = Crawchos!

We like our crawfish in a boil with all of the fixings. Or, we like a nice sauce-smothered crawfish étouffée. That being said, any recipe with crawfish is good in our book. Let’s take a look at how some other fine folks cook ‘em up.

7 Unique Crawfish Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water:

1. Gnocci with Crayfish – This recipe is so good that we’ll forgive them for misspelling CRAWFISH. This fusion of Italian and Cajun is unusual. But, that wouldn’t stop us from chowing down.

2. Crawfish Spinach Pie – You certainly don’t need to be Popeye to find this dish irresistible. Go ahead and put me down for seconds.

3. Crawfish Cheesecake – You may have had of crawfish pie, but have you had crawfish cake? This crawfish cheesecake would make an incredible main dish for any brunch.

4. Crawfish Stew with Cinnamon and Star Anise – This stew sure beats out Dinty Moore and with no flour it’s perfect for the gluten-free crowd. You can add Tabasco if you want to heat it up a bit.

5. Crawchos – That’s right, crawfish nachos (for the win!). When you run out of chips all you need is a straw.

Are you hungry yet? (We have just the remedy).

Can’t wait to give each of these a try in the kitchen!
Do you have a unique recipe for crawfish to share? Please drop it in the comments so we can give it a whirl.

 

Crawchos photo courtesy of The FeauxCajun Kitchen

E is for Etouffee – the ABC’s of Cajun Cooking

E is for Etouffee- Crawfish Etouffee

Étouffée is thick Cajun and Creole stew that is served as a main course. This tasty dish is made with shellfish (crawfish or shrimp) that’s been smothered in a thick sauce and often served over rice. The word Étouffée comes from the French étouffer, which means to smother. In this case the ingredients are getting smothered in a delicious sauce! The base of Étouffée is the roux, made from butter and flour.

D is for Dirty Rice – the ABC’s of Cajun Cooking

Dirty Rice- Letter D, The ABC's of cajun Cooking

Dirty Rice is not dirty as the name implies, but is it bursting with delicious Cajun flavors! Born in Louisiana, and popularized across the U.S. by Zatarain’s and fast food restaurants like Popeye’s and Bojangles”, Dirty rice is a staple in Cajun cooking and a great compliment to numerous spicy Cajun dishes, including Crawfish!