Chef Bob: Crawfish Boil

Crawfish Boil

We always love to see crawfish harvested from swamps and lakes. It is because we know that it will fall to our crawfish pots for our boiling recipe. It seems we feel another party which going to happen after boiling. For the record, this is the most precious icon of Louisiana’s cuisine. No doubt for everybody enjoys it – including people from far states and countries.

Yes, despite of crawfish funny looks we cannot deny that it is one of the most delicious foods we can taste of. The fun you will experience in eating the whole crawfish is incomparable. In case it is your first time you are really going to hold tight the head with your hand and the other hand holding the tail. Squeeze it carefully and savor the meat’s sweetness

15 lbs Live Louisiana Crawfish

4 Large Spanish Onions, peeled and quartered

6 Lemons, halved

4 Heads garlic, halved widthwise

8 Fresh Bay Leaves (dry is ok if you don’t have fresh)

3 Bags Crab Boil  (your favorite brand, or make it yourself)

1 bunch fresh Thyme

1 Cup Creole Seasoning

1/2 Cup Cayenne, or to taste

1 1/2 lbs Kosher Salt

About 5 Gallons of water, or enough to fill a 30 Quart turkey fryer pot 3/4 full

3-4 lbs Small Redskin Potatoes

6 or 8 Ears of Fresh Corn, shucked, trimmed and cut in half

 

Bring the water to a boil in a 30 quart Turkey fryer pot with the onions, lemons, garlic, bay leaves, crab boil, cayenne and salt. When the mixture reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Your crawfish should be picked through for dead ones and placed and washed by first hosing them down, then leaving them in the basket and placing it into a large pot, filling it with water, draining, filling with water, draining, until the remaining water is eventually clean, about 3-4 times. I’m not in the purging with salt camp, it will kill your Crawfish and I don’t think it does anything more than what I described above.

While you’re waiting, and this is a very important part of this recipe, drink a few of your favorite ice cold beers and go visit with your company, this is a social event, relax enjoy! Have the washed Redskins waiting in the basket insert nearby and visit. Take advantage of the downtime!

Before adding anything to the pot, taste your cooking liquid! It should taste overly salty and overly spicy. Drink more cold beer, then add your basket insert to the pot with the potatoes. Let cook for 15-20 minutes. After said time has passed add the corn, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Bring the liquid to a boil and add the live Crawfish.  Bring the pot back to a boil as quickly as possible, give a good healthy stir and boil for about 5-10 minutes depending on their size.  Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pot and allow the crawfish to steep in the liquid for 20-30 minutes. The longer they steep, the spicier and more flavorful they will become. When in doubt as to how long to let them steep, pull one out and have a taste! When you’re sure that they are ready, lift the basket and let them drain. When they are well drained dump the contents of the basket onto a picnic table or any outdoor table heavily lined with newspaper.

Let your guests belly up to the table and eat to their hearts content!  The full spread, the potatoes and corn take on all of those wonderful flavors. The potatoes especially, the skins dry out and develop that salt crust and the insides take on the spice.

Serving Suggestion: