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10 Reasons Crawfish are as Unique as Louisiana

crawfish festival crawfish

Let’s face it, there is no other place quite like the Bayou State. Whether you live in Louisiana or just love the natural beauty, people, and culture, there is something about Cajun Country that grabs ahold of people and refuses to let go. Here at CajunCrawfish.com we love our Louisiana heritage almost as much as we love crawfish. Fortunately, crawfish are as unique as the place they call home.

  1. They come in way more colors than red. You can find rare ones that are blue, white, orange, green, and pretty much any other color of the rainbow. They all turn red once boiled though.
  2. Crawfish can drown and have inner gills so they can live out of water.
  3. Of the over 500 species of crawfish, only 2 species are eaten.
  4. The earliest crawfish fossil is about 30 million years old and evidence of 100 million year old burrows were found in Australia.
  5. A crawfish’s eyes can move independently from each other.
  6. While walking, they move forward, but they swim backwards.
  7. Louisiana’s Official Crustacean is the crawfish.
  8. They can grow back lost legs and claws.
  9. They molt once a year and eat their former skeleton to regain the calcium and phosphates they need.
  10. Crawfish feed at night.

And one more little fact about our little friends…they taste absolutely delicious. Fortunately for you, CajunCrawfish.com lets you get crawfish delivered right to your front door! Whether you are looking for live crawfish in season, or whole boiled crawfish year-round, we deliver fast so you can enjoy these amazing crustaceans anytime.

Seafood Pizza

Seafood Pizza

 

Ingredients
1 cup cajuncrawfish tailmeat
1 cup peeled Louisiana shrimp (from cajuncrawfish.com)
1 cup crabmeat
1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
1 or 2 fresh tomatoes (diced)
3 cloves minced garlic
olive oil
1 pizza dough

Directions
Saute garlic in olive oil.
Add seafood, mixing well.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella on uncooked pizza crust
Put seafood mixture on top of crust
Sprinkle diced tomatoes on top of seafood mixture.
Cover with remaining cheese.
Bake until golden brown and cheese is bubbling.
Cut and serve

These Ain’t Oysters, Don’t Eat ‘Em Raw!

Eat it Raw? raw crawfish

There are many foods that can be eaten raw – veggies, fruits, and even an impressive list of meats and seafood. However, there are some foods that should NEVER be consumed uncooked! One of these is crawfish. Unlike oysters, which many people choose to eat raw, eating raw crawfish can have serious results!
Paragonimiasis is the name given by the doctors at Washington University to the illness caused by eating raw crawfish. The illness is caused by a parasite carried by crawfish, but when it is ingested by people causes high fever and sharp chest pain. There have even been cases where someone has ingested more than one of these parasites. When this happens, it is not abnormal for the parasites to reproduce in the person’s lungs! More severe issues have occurred when the parasite found its way into the heart, brain or even caused temporary blindness.

No, this is not something out some far-fetched science fiction story, but rather a very serious problem –especially during crawfish season, that has happened more than one may realize. Even more frightening, is that Paragonimiasis can lay dormant for several months so that by the time the symptoms begin, the person has likely forgotten that they ate raw crawfish. In the cases where the symptoms are not manifested till later, patients have been misdiagnosed with ailments such as pneumonia, tuberculosis or even having their gallbladder removed. There has been one death related to Paragonimiasis, but it was more a result of the illness being combined with a pre-existing condition.

So now for the good news…. Paragonimiasis is easily treated, once it is detected. The treatment requires a two-day series of an anti-parasite drug. Nevertheless, it should also be noted, that without the treatment the parasite will eventually die – though that could take up to five years!

Also of interest, is that of the reported cases of Paragonimiasis, there have been none among the Louisiana crawfish crowd, but rather the majority of cases were in Missouri.  In addition, with the exception of one case, all the people were male, and with the exception of a 10-year-old boy who, determined to show off his survivor skills to his buddies by eating a raw crawfish, all the people had knocked back several alcoholic drinks.

So, save yourself the pain and trauma of Paragonimiasis and set out to find some great ways to prepare cooked crawfish! Here at Cajun Crawfish we are always searching the Web to find tasty new ways to showcase the sumptuous goodness of the Louisiana crawfish. After all, we want to showcase the flavor of Cajun crawfish as part of a hot meal shared with friends and family. We do not wish to come visit our loved one in the hospital because they ate a raw crawfish! So remember, they ain’t oysters, don’t eat ‘em raw!

Scallop on Fettucini

Seared Scallops served over fettucini

Ingredients

8 oz. bay scallops
2 cloves (minced) garlic
4 chopped scallions
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 tsp. butter
1 c. sliced mushrooms
4 stalks chopped asparagus
2 tsp. white cooking wine
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese (or Romano)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Saute onions, vegetables and garlic in butter. Add scallops and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in wine, salt, pepper, cheese and lemon. Bring to a boil only for 1 minute. Take away from heat. Sprinkle with shredded cheese (of choice). Cover and let melt. Serve over pasta.

Cajun Langoustine Stew

Langoustine stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1-2 tbs olive oil
3 finely chopped shallots
1 thinly sliced leek
1 thinly sliced fennel bulb
1 finely chopped carrot
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 thinly chopped celery sticks
1 oz. tomato puree
1/4 cup brandy
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 lbs. peeled langoustine (keep shells)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbs paprika
3.5 cups fish stock
4 chopped tomatoes
double cream (for drizzling)
parsley chopped
tarragon
1 lemon in wedges
crusty bread

Directions

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the shallots, leek, fennel, garlic, carrots and celery for about 10 minutes, or until softened.

Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the brandy and white wine. Simmer until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Add the langoustine shells, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika and cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the stock and tomatoes.

Simmer the stock for 40 minutes, then transfer to a food processor and blend as smooth as possible. Strain the mixture through a broad sieve and then a fine sieve, discarding the solids left behind each time.

Return the mixture to a clean pan and bring to the boil. Add the langoustine meat and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, ladle the stew into bowls and drizzle some double cream on top. Garnish with chopped parsley and thyme and serve with a wedge of lemon and a piece of crusty bread on the side.

Crawfish, Shrimp, Clam & Mussel Spaghetti

Crawfish, Shrimp, Clam & Mussel Spaghetti

 

Ingredients
1 lb. crawfish tailmeat
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined, butterflied
24 small clams, scrubbed
24 mussels, debearded
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Warm crusty bread

Directions
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Saute until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down and the flavors blend, about 5 minutes. Stir in the clams. Cover and cook for
5 minutes. Stir in the mussels. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels open, about 5 minutes longer.
Using a tongs, transfer the opened shellfish to serving bowls (discard any shellfish that do not open). Add the shrimp, crawfish and basil to the simmering tomato broth. Simmer until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes.

A Culinary Tradition: Cajun Crawfish Etouffee

Delicious plate of Crawfish Etouffee with rice

Perhaps one of the most recognized and loved dishes of Cajun cuisine is etouffee. Its rich flavors have delighted the taste buds for more than 7 decades. And, while it is traditionally made with crawfish, there are variations that use shrimp or crab.

Etouffee is a French word, which translated literally means “smothered” or “suffocated.” However, in relation to food, it refers to a method of cooking where seafood is smothered in vegetables with a tomato-based sauce, resulting in a stew-like seafood dish. As a side note, many true foodies and culinary experts will tell you that a true Cajun crawfish etouffee does not contain tomatoes. The addition of tomato is a Creole way of preparing the dish.

Today, crawfish etouffee recipes abound, but that was not always the case. Food historians trace back Louisiana crawfish etouffee to the crawfish capital of the world, Breaux Bridges, Louisiana. According to culinary history, etouffee was first served in the Hebert Hotel in the early 1920s when Mrs. Hebert, along with her daughters, Yoli and Marie, made crawfish etouffee using crawfish tails, crawfish fat, onions and pepper. Later on, the Heberts shared their recipe with their friend, Aline Guidry Champagne. Ms. Champagne later opened a restaurant, the RendezVous Café, and began serving the dish there.

Today, the Hebert’s recipe has been altered somewhat as the original had more crawfish and a thinner sauce; whereas, now it is made with a thicker sauce. But, if you should wish to have crawfish etouffee made like the Hebert’s first served it, you should visit Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge.

Despite its longtime history of being on the menu in Breaux Bridge, it was not as popular in New Orleans until some years later. In fact, the renowned Galatoire’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street did not have crawfish etouffee on the menu until a few decades ago when one of the waiters brought the dish to the boss. The crawfish etouffee was an instant hit, and is now on the menu whenever crawfish are in season.

Making a Louisiana crawfish etouffee can take some time, but it is truly worth it. Its buttery richness (typically, people today replace the crawfish fat with butter) paired with the succulence of the crawfish, just the right amount of cayenne, then served over a bed of fluffy white rice is truly one of the best uses of Cajun crawfish there is.

So how do you make your crawfish etouffee? With tomatoes and without cream? Without either ingredient? A little cayenne or a lot? There are so many great ways to make crawfish etouffee and everyone believes their family has the best recipe.  So…If you have a favorite crawfish etouffee recipe, we would love to hear it! If you don’t, be sure to check out our crawfish etouffee recipes here on Cajun Crawfish.

 

Photo credit: jeffreyww

“Dirty” Crawfish Still Taste Beautiful!

crawfish with barnaclesBy Patrick D. Bonin
Photos supplied by Dave Schweitzer 

Ever see a crawfish like this one before? It almost looks like he escaped from our ponds, made his way to saltwater, and got covered in barnacles!

Actually, it’s not all that unusual to find some of these “crusty crustaceans” in our traps this time of year. (And don’t worry, the dirty appearance isn’t harmful and doesn’t affect the taste of the crawfish at all.)

What you’re actually seeing on this crawfish are the eggs of an insect known as “water boatman.” According to the LSU AgCenter, the water boatman eggs are laid on newly molted crawfish and are usually most abundant on the head and below the eyes.

Many non-harmful microorganisms and microscopic plants and animals use the crawfish’s shell as a hard surface for their growth, just like rocks or twigs that have been immersed in water for a long time, according to LSU.

Ed Guidry, operations manager of Fruge’ Aquafarms in Branch, La.,
explained why we don’t normally see crawfish like this earlier in the year.

“Right now, late in the season, the crawfish have pretty much stopped growing,
and that means they’re not molting out of their old shells any more,” he explained.
“So anything that gets attached now, we’ll see when we catch them.

“When this happens earlier in the season, we don’t see it because the crawfish
are constantly growing and molting,” he said.

Biologists refer to water boatman and other “fouling organisms” as ectocommensals.
Hot summer temperatures contribute to the process, as ectocommensals grow and spread rapidly on the crawfish’s shell when the water is warm.
Consequently, the combination of the crawfish not shedding its shell along with rapid
ectocommensal growth results in some mudbugs having a dirty appearance.

So if you ever come across a crawfish like this late in the season,
feel free to toss him in the pot with all the rest.
He might not be as “pretty” as all the others, but he’ll taste just as good!

crawfish barnacles

Thanks to Dave Schweitzer for sending these pictures and giving us a great idea for a blog.
If you have an idea for a blog we could write, let us know… we would love to write it.

What if We Had Crawfish This Size?

Giant Lobster women- giant crawfish?

Some of you may have seen the news last week; The largest lobster ever caught in Maine was caught off of the coast of Maine, and man what that one whopper of a crustacean! In one picture on the Reuters News website had a woman holding it like it was the family dog. In another photo it was as big as a little boy that looked like he was going to ride it!

The Lobster, nicknamed “Rocky” was 40 inches long and weighed in at 27 lbs. Rocky was big, but according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest lobster was a beast of a 44-pounder caught off Nova Scotia back in 1977.

What, No Party?

So what did these fisherman do with Rocky? Did they buy a bigger pot, some beer and invite all of the neighbors over for a party?No, they didn’t, they let old Rocky go… Many of you know what they did wrong, they named him! Folks who grow up around farms and ranches know that you don’t name your food!

Now I could be wrong, but I bet that if someone was to pull a giant prehistoric 27 lb. crawfish out of a pond down here in Cajun country there would be one heck of a big party. The neighbors wouldn’t be going to bed hungry that night!
That’s one thing we love about crawfish, folks ain’t afraid to share em!

Photo credit: x-ray delta one