Monday, February 27, 2012

Crawfish Boil

We had another birthday celebration on Saturday for David, our son-in-law. This is the second year that David has chosen crawfish for his dinner which is perfect for when they are in season. David is not really a breakfast person so he skipped breakfast and moved right to lunch. He wanted Eggplant subs for lunch with a salad dressed with the Best Salad Dressing in the World. He also chose two different cookies for the day rather than a dessert with dinner. For lunch, I made Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies. I just love it when the choices are things that I love to eat.

Dinner was the Louisiana Crawfish Boil full of spicy crawfish, potatoes, pieces of corn on the cob, smoked sausage, mushrooms, heads of garlic, onions and lemons. We bought a new pot with a portable jet burner to be able to cook these outside whenever we want (at least during crawfish season). We ended the day with Chocolate Crinkle cookies which was the other cookie that David wanted. I'm thinking the crawfish boil might become a tradition.

Louisiana Crawfish Boil (Serves 6)
Adapted from What's Cooking

10 pounds of live crawfish
3/4 cup kosher salt, for purging
1 (1 pound) sack of Louisiana Crawfish Boil Seasoning (also known as crab or shrimp boil seasoning)
3-4 lemons, sliced in half
2 small onions, peeled
Smoked sausage, cut up into large pieces
whole Mushrooms
Small red or new potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
3 ears of fresh corn on the cob, shucked and broken in thirds
3 heads of garlic, split in half exposing pods

It is imperative to purge and thoroughly wash the crawfish before boiling them. Pour the sack of live crawfish in a large tub or a large ice chest. Pour the salt over the top of the crawfish. Add water to just cover the crawfish. Gently stir with a large paddle to mix the salt and water. Stir for 3 minutes, then rinse crawfish.

Be careful not to let them purge too long. You do not want them to be dead when you add them to the boil. Throw away all crawfish that have already died (the dead ones should float to the top).

After purging and cleaning, don't leave the crawfish covered with water, as they need air to stay alive. Keep the crawfish in a cool or shaded area until you're ready to start cooking.

Boiling Crawfish

In a large pot over high heat (propane fueled, jet burner) add enough water to fill a little more than halfway.

Squeeze the juice out of the lemon halves into the water and throw the lemon halves into the water.

Add crawfish or crab boil seasoning pack.

Cover pot, turn on the burner full blast, and bring water to a boil; boil 2 to 3 minutes to allow the spices to mix well.

Using a large wire basket that fits into the pot, add onions, sausage, mushrooms, and potatoes. Maintain a boil and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add crawfish to the wire basket, stirring them a bit. Once the water starts a rolling boil again, boil 5 minutes. Regulate the burner so the rolling boil is maintained, but where the pot does not boil over.

Turn the burner off, keep the pot covered and let the crawfish soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the wire basket from the pot.

Remove the strainer from the water, and rest it on the top of the pot using two boards laid on the top of the pot as a rack. Let the crawfish drain.

We served them the traditional way by covering a table which we set up in the garage since it was a little cool outside, covered with newspaper.

These were the best we have ever made at home!

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