Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lessons learned from my first crawfish boil

It’s crawfish season (or crawdad, as we used to say in Texas when I was growing up), and nothing beats having a group of people over for a big boil. Usually, these gatherings are held outside since the cleaning, boiling and eating of the crustaceans can get messy. But what if you don’t have an outdoor space? Here are 10 things I learned this weekend when I held my first-ever crawfish boil inside my tiny New York City apartment.

1. These guys are feisty and love to pinch. Either wear thick gloves or stock up on bandages.

2. A broadsheet newspaper, such as The New York Times, makes a better table cover than a tabloid newspaper, such as The New York Post. The latter, however, has far wittier headlines.

3. Accordions are optional. If you don’t have any Zydeco bands on your IPod, don’t fret. Anything that gets your feet tapping and your hips shaking will be fine.

4. Finding Zatarain’s or Tex-Joy crawfish boil spice mix on the East Coast is impossible. Old Bay will suffice as long as you supplement it with tons of cayenne. Or better yet, make your own spice mix.

5. If you don’t have a supply of local, live crawfish, order them from Louisiana purveyors such as Cajun Grocer or Louisiana Crawfish. Not only do they taste better but it helps the Louisiana economy.

6. Don’t gaze at their cute little bug eyes for too long or you might start feeling bad about what you’re about to do the creatures: boil them and eat them.

7. If you’re cooking in a small apartment without any outdoor space, be sure and open a window (or two) when purging (a.k.a. cleaning) the crawfish. All that mud and swamp gunk gets stinky.

8. When your live crawfish arrive at the office, resist the pleadings of your colleagues to open the cooler and pull out a couple for races. This can only lead to trouble, especially if they’re fast and like to hide (the crawfish, not your colleagues).

9. If the tail on a cooked crawfish isn’t curved, do not eat it. A straight tale means that the crawfish was dead before it was boiled, and it’s going to be mushy and taste rotten. It’s best to try and pick out most of the dead ones before you do your boil, but be careful as the live ones can get restless as you’re picking through the batch (see tip No. 1).

10. These crustaceans are known by many names—crawdads, crayfish, crawfish, swamp lobsters or mud bugs—but no matter what they’re called, they taste just as delicious. (Though our Louisiana friends may give you the stink-eye if you refer to them as anything but crawfish.)

What are some of your tips for boiling crawfish?

Boiled Crawfish
Ingredients:
20 pounds of live crawfish
1 stick of butter (113 grams)
6 lemons cut in half
1/2 cup of mustard seeds
1/4 cup of cloves
1/4 cup of allspice
1/4 cup of coriander seeds
Cayenne to taste (I start with 1/4 cup
Salt to taste (I start with 1/2 cup)
10 bay leaves
1 stalk of celery
10 red potatoes
10 ears of corn cut in half
1 pound of andouille sausage, cut into one-inch pieces
2 onions, cut in half
12 cloves of garlic, peeled (one head)
A tall 12-quart pot with a boil basket

Method:
1. Throw everything but the crawfish into your tall pot and fill it with water two-thirds up the sides. Turn heat on high. When the water gets warm (but before it's boiling), taste the water and make any spice adjustments, such as adding more salt or cayenne.
2. While the water is heating, it's time to purge your crawfish if they haven’t been purged yet. (Purging is getting rid of all the mud and other swamp gunk). To do this in an apartment, put a stopper in your kitchen sink, unload the crawfish into the sink and fill it with water. Let them soak for two minutes and then drain the sink. The water will be brown and kind of funky, but after you repeat this action two more times the water should be more or less clear.
3. Once the pot is boiling, throw in the crawfish and boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. (You can do this in batches, just add more water and spices as necessary. The corn and potatoes can come out of the pot after the first batch is boiled.)
4. Place bowl of crawfish on table covered with newspaper or butcher paper, snap, peel and enjoy.

Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry your eaters are.
Notes: For condiments, Louisiana hot sauces such as Tabasco or Crystal are appropriate, though I've found Mexican Cholula, while untraditional, adds both heat and smokiness to the meat. Melted garlic butter, lemon juice, and cocktail sauce also go well with the crawfish. For the boil, I like to use my own spices but most people use a commercial spice mix for a boil, such as Zatarain’s or TexJoy. If you order live crawfish, however, the seller will usually include some crawfish boil spice mix in your package.

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65 comments:

Kalyn said...

Great post! I've eaten these in New Orleans and loved them, but haven't cooked my own. People who haven't had them would probably be amazed at how delicious they are.

Annie K. Nodes said...

Tip: Don't let a child name the crawdad. She will consider it a pet and then develop an aversion to these delectable delights that lasts until college, when after 3 beer bongs and a dare, she will finally try one and realized what she was missing all that time.

Love this post. You make me want to fly down to Mobile and join my cousins for a crawdad dinner. (We use the Texan pronunciation.)

Tommy said...

I have had the pleasure of eating crayfish while in New Orleans a few times. Sadly, I don't think you can import live crayfish into Canada due to govt regulations and paranoia, so having a "homeboil" is not an option for Canadians.

The only live crayfish I see here are used for bait while bass fishing and they are extremely expensive.

Debra said...

Pour a beer or two into the pot along with the water (Dixie beer, if available). Pour another beer or two into the cook. :)

Gena said...

I love the crawdaddies. We had a boil in college, and caught the suckers the day before at a pond just outside of Abilene. They lived (alive) in the bathtub overnight with some water. None escaped, but the eerie scratching noises coming from the bathroom was a little disturbing!

matt said...

"6. Don’t gaze at their cute little bug eyes for too long or you might start feeling bad about what you’re about to do the creatures: boil them and eat them."

Amen to that one, for sure!

Sigh. I wish I could have joined you and our crawdads could have had a playdate. Before the deed, you know.

Mike said...

Ohhhh mama that looks grand !

Reminds me of the first time I saw Emeril on tv....it was actually a Julia Child series with "guest chefs"....what I recall most of all was the way this guy held his head over the pot, all pots, any pot. As if he was staring down a manhole...I found that so unusual.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

You are brave indeed! I've cooked crawfish tails (the ones you can buy frozen from Louisiana online sources), but never attempted to fight the live ones.

CB said...

Oh, man. My husband and I have been talking about trying to find some crawfish out here (we're Gulf Coast Texans transplanted to Lubbock) This just makes me want to get some even more. I keep trying to convince my brother to take a road trip and bring us a cooler full, but he hasn't agreed to yet.

Thanks for makin' my mouth water.

robin (caviar and codfish) said...

Thank you for the links to the purveyors! I'm just returning from a vacation in NC where I had crawfish and I FELL IN LOVE with them! I was so upset coming home and thinking I wouldn't have them anymore!!

Also, your pictures are fantastic. Great post.

Tea said...

Ooooh, how fun!

When I was a kid we tried to go fishing for crawdads but never got any. Do crawdads even live in California? I fear the big kids in the neighborhood led us woefully astray.

andie said...

yum!!! you can order Zatarain’s from their website!

Rachael said...

Oh my you are so cute.

I like to pour a bottle of pickled jalapenos into the boil, but that may be heresy outside of Florida.

Leslie said...

Tip: Use Zatarans Crab Boil in Liquid AND Powder form for more pop. Also, buy the giant container, especially if cooked in batches, because you need to season the boiling water between batches.

KimberlyDi said...

I'm supposed to have my first crawfish boil on April 13th. Now, I'm looking forward to it.

Frank said...

Yeah you right, che! Put a little Boozoo on, and suck de' heads and pinch 'dem tails! That's what I call passin' a good time yeah you right.
FM

Homesick Texan said...

Kalyn--Anyone that likes shrimp or lobster is sure to love crawfish.

Annie K. Nodes--I'll keep that in mind--it's hard enough doing the deed since they're kind of cute. And next time I have a boil, you and your guys should come over!

Tommy--Do you have any friends in Buffalo? You could have a boil there.

Debra--Beer! That's a given!

Gena--That scratching sound is disturbing. I could hear them in the cooler and it sort of freaked me out a bit.

Matt--Sigh indeed! I wish you could have joined us as well. Maybe next time!

Mike--I read somewhere that Julia Child adored him and that's how his TV career got started. I've never seen that particular episode before. He does love the crawfish.

Lydia--Fighting the live ones is a must as it makes you appreciate the pre-cooked tails all the more.

CB--If you can't find them locally, you can always order them. Good luck!

Robin--Thanks! And hope you get some, they're a real treat.

Tea--I think they live in the mountains in California, but those big kids could have been pulling your leg, since big kids like to do that to unsuspecting little kids and all.

Andie--Good to know--thanks!

Rachael--A jar of pickled jalapenos doesn't sound like heresy to me--I'll have to try that next time!

Leslie--The more spices the merrier!

KimberlyDi--You're going to have a blast! Enjoy!

Frank--Laissez les bons temps rouler, cher!

Dee said...

Someone has probably already said this, but I was taught that you are supposed to let one of the crawfish (we called them crawdads, too--played with them actually when we were kids) go free. Always thought it was a fun tradition but no idea where to do it in the city--certainly not my apartment!

Brave Sir Robin said...

I cannot imagine doing this indoors!!

You are a brave, brave woman!!

I second the beer in the broth, beer in the cook method.

And make very sure your guests suck the head!!

And yes, that episode with Julia and a very young and very thin Emeril was classic.

Julie said...

This is a great party idea!

Of course, if anyone I worked with received a shipment of crawfish, I'd be one of those people trying to get the crawfish race going.

Janna said...

Props to you for taking this on "tiny New York Apartment" style!
We recently moved back to Texas after living in Nor. Cali for 2 years. Some friends of ours there hosted and boil and it was like being home again (but she couldn't find zataran's either).

jaelin said...

I can't believe you had a crawfish boil in New York! I couldn't even imagine what a mess that was. I had one in Texas and even then, I thought the house wasn't big enough.

I too am a recent transplant from Texas to Manhattan and I really enjoy your blog. =) Btw, have you found any good Tex Mex and/or Mexican restaurants in New York? I've been dying for some!

AT said...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe you did this in your New York apartment!

My Aunt took me out for crawfish recently, my first since I'd moved home. I actually had to be reminded how to eat them. Isn't that sad??

Anonymous said...

WOW, what fun a crawfish boil is! I'm not sure, but I didn't read anything about putting the salt on them in the fresh water to make them 'poo', if you will, before placing them in boiling water. Gets all the nasties out of them for eating. If you live near a creek/tank/pond, you can catch these little crawlers seven days before and after a full moon, after dark, while they're on the banks. I too, am originally from Abilene, Texas, living in the wilds of MN, yes, scare me too.

Thanks for this reminder of spring and outdoor cooking, it's long overdue for here.
Chris
MN

Olivia said...

Hehe, we once had a crawfish, crab and shrimp boil with our neighbours in Houston. I couldn't peel myself away from the prawns, but I do love crawfish tails in a quesadilla with lots of salsa, cheese, and cilantro.

Here in London you can buy crawfish (crayfish) tails peeled and refrigerated in small plastic tubs. No fun. THe closest thing is langoustines, but I found them more like big very soggy shrimps, lacking the chewiness of crawdads.

I can't believe you can't find Zatarain's, I thought it was ubiquitous across the US but I guess I thought that about everything you find in Texas!

talida said...

Crawfish boil here in NY? I'm so jealous.

I had my wedding in Houston the first week in March, and it being crawfish season was one of the reasons for setting our date. :)

Rajun Cajun said...

Anonymous is correct - if you salt the crawfish before you purge them (while still in eh ice chest) it kinda sanatizes them, but also they are purged of any poop inside of them and are much cleaner. I have been to a boil in Texas, the hosts were not aware of purging, needless to say - they were the dirtiest crawfish I have ever eaten.

Crawdads...it's like nails down a chalkboard = )

Melissa said...

Holy cow, like everyone else, I'm gobsmacked!

It's been almost ten years since I've had a crawfish boil. No, I mean since I've been to a crawfish boil - I've never even thought of doing it myself, but stink and mess aside, it sounds like a blast!

Hmm, I wonder if they'll ship live crawfish to Scotland? ;)

Homesick Texan said...

Dee--Oh, no! I didn't know that (and that's probably why that last one was so hard to catch and get into the pot!)

Brave Sir Robin--Mike sent me a link to the episode, and he was so young and thin, not to mention slightly serious--no hint of the "Bam" personality. I much prefer that Emeril to the one he is today.

Julie--Well, it is a way to liven up a Friday afternoon!

Janna--I know, boils were such a regular thing growing up, I'm always surprised that people have never been to one.

Jaelin--Welcome to NY! And that's the million-dollar question, where to get good Tex-Mex/Mexican in NY. I've found a few places for Mex-Mex, such as Real Azteca in the Bronx and Taqueria Coatzingo and El Sol de Azteca in Jackson Heights, Queens. And then in the warm months there are the Mexican food stands (think tacos, gorditas, sopes, huraches, etc) at the Red Hook Ball Fields, and various taco stands throughout the five boroughs. But, there's nothing here that feels like the Tex-Mex experience you can get at home.

AT--It was crazy, but a total blast. And that is sad, you weren't in NY that long--how could you forget!

Chris--I know people that do add salt, but I've never done it. I rinse them several times or until the water comes clean and they taste good to me. I'll try it with salt, however, the next time and see if they taste even better.

Olivia--I'm a big fan of shrimp boils, too. We used to get those huge Gulf shrimp and throw them into the pot, heads and all. And the stores here sell Zatarain's rice mixes, but I can't find the boil spices.

Talida--I love it! And yes, this is the best time of year to go to Texas.

Rajun Cajun--Yeah, that's what my Cajun friends say as well when I say crawdad!

Melissa--Can you imagine customs checking the shipment? That would be worth the price alone!
Rajun Cajun--

Scribbit said...

I've always wanted to go to a crawfish boil, never even tasted them. My brother and sister live on the east coast and did a crab boil one time and it just sounded fabulous.

Yvo said...

Gahhh, I haven't had crawfish whole since I went to NO ummm almost 5 years ago now. And before that the only time I had them was at... *small voice* Olive Garden, they had this crawfish alfredo dish that I LOOOOOOOVEd... sigh. Yours look delish!

kprn said...

My ex here in California had me going when he said he was taking me "crawdad'n" on the American River (Sacramento)- I was sure it would be something like snipe hunting:-) I couldn't believe it when we started pulling nets FULL of them out of the water. And the bait? OMG- he punched a few holes in the top of cans of Mighty Dog dog food and threw them in the nets! They loved the stuff! We had so many we had to used a kiddie pool to keep them overnight. Too fun!

Jerry said...

Love! Great read as usual! Now I want crawfish!

Jennessa said...

I went to my first official Crawfish boil last year in Galveston... tons of good eating (and drinking) there!

I know my friends are having another one down there in July.. too bad I'll be back down there in June.

Yay for Texans in yankeedom!

Sarah G. said...

I'm right here in north central Louisiana, in the heart of crawfish country, and it's the height of the season right now. Crawfish boils on every corner. I can't eat shellfish, but my husband says they're better (sweeter and more tender) than lobster.

Crawfish may be the only benefit to living in Louisiana. Tony Chachere's is better than Zatarains, though, but I bet that is a really local product.

Remoulade is good with crawfish. Mix some ketchup or cocktail sauce, a little ranch dressing, some Tony's (or Zatarain's), and a squeeze from a lemon. And it's a huge debate between north/south Louisiana (the really strange folks live down south) whether you should suck the heads or not.

Regardless, it's heresy to consume crawfish without cold beer.

Lore said...

Tip no.6 arrived TOO LATE for me :(. Great post though as always! Open space and a chef is what would work for me :D

RecipeGirl said...

I've never, ever had crawfish!! But should I find myself somewhere where they do it up good, I'm all over it!

Mattexian said...

You can order Tex-Joy online too. Maybe I'm a little spoiled on them, as I live just a few blocks from their home office/coffee roaster. It always smells like they're making Dark Roast in the morning!

wymommad said...

Man, I know what you mean about finding spices and seasonings! I am from Houston and moved to Wyoming 5 years ago and frequently have my in-laws send spices and seasoning to me...along with those great Texas pecans!

Donna

orsiko said...

That's really a nice alternative to the way I am usually eating the crawfish in Moscow, Russia.
It's a delicatessen here in Russia and usually they are boiling it in a mix of water and beer and other spices that I do not know how to translate. I'll definitely suggest to try your recipe.

Anonymous said...

Try adding whole or halved artichokes and white button mushrooms for other veggies.

And you don't need to peel the garlic. If you throw in a couple of heads chopped in half, you can squeeze out the cloves and eat them like you would roasted garlic.

Garrett said...

Next time I visit New York to see family, I'm visiting you. All your posts are always so tasty! ;)

Amber said...

You inspired me! I thought a propane tank and huge boiling vessel were required for a crawfish boil. After reading this post, I had a crawfish boil last Saturday using my biggest pot, and did it in three batches. It turned out great. So much fun! I second the idea of adding whole mushrooms.

Texann said...

I am very impressed that you had a boil in your apartment! Love your adventurous spirit, as always.

Crawfish season is in full boil here in Houston. Mmmmmmm I can almost smell it!

Next time add any/all of these to the boil at the very end (fresh is best, of course, but frozen would work too): Asparagus spears, frozen artichoke hearts (canned might work, but I haven't tried them), fresh green beans. They just take a minute and the veggies flavored with the crab boil, simply divine!

Beautiful pictures too!

Texann

Cynthia said...

8. When your live crawfish arrive at the office, resist the pleadings of your colleagues to open the cooler and pull out a couple for races. This can only lead to trouble, especially if they’re fast and like to hide (the crawfish, not your colleagues). - this is the tip that had me in laughter :D

Homesick Texan said...

Scribbit--If you love fresh shell fish, then you'll enjoy crawfish. And the camaraderie of the boil is half the fun!

Yvo--There's no shame in loving crawfish alfredo. And can you keep a secret? In college I worked at the Olive Garden and adored their alfredo sauce. So there!

KPRN--A kiddie pool is a perfect place to store your crawfish. And how fun you caught them yourselves!

Jerry--Yep, it's the season!

Jennessa--That's too bad you'll miss the on in Galveston, but there's no reason you can't have one on the East Coast.

Sarah G.--I love also love remoulade with my shell fish. And I adore Tony Chachere, but you're right, we definitely can't find that here.

Lore--A chef is good, then you can just sit back and peel away!

RecipeGirl--Yep, if you like lobster or shrimp, you'll like crawfish.

Mattexian--Good to know, thanks!

Wymommad--Oh yes, there's nothing like a Texas care package!

Orsiko--I had no idea that crawfish were so popular in Russia!

Anon--I did not know that you didn't have to peel the garlic. Well that certainly makes things easier!

Garrett--Come on over! But you're making dessert.

Amber--Yay! I'm glad your crawfish boil was fun!

Texann--Asparagus would be delicious--ours haven't arrived yet but they are supposed to be at the markets by next week.

Cynthia--Hey, I'm glad I made you laugh!

Allen said...

I can hardly believe a crawfish boil in an apartment. Not just the mess, but you miss the drama of a few of them crawling over the ice chests and trying to escape into the wild. Though, the cat vs crawfish encounters could be more entertaining...

As a homebrewer, I have a stainless steel 18 gallon pot and a 185,000 btu cooker. Here in Dallas, I like to buy from the Cajun Crawfish Company. For a little extra, you can get them to give you the largest 'dads they can find, the kind it's worthwhile cracking open the claws for the claw meat.

Katie said...

I love this blog! I am also a transplant from The Lone Star state and reading your blog is a big, fat reminder of home. I was wondering where you got your live crawfish in NYC. I'm looking to have a crawfish/shrimp boil on my roof soon and I'd love to know where you found your "bugs". Thanks so much and keep up the good work!

Homesick Texan said...

Allen--I know! It felt weird doing it inside, but you do what you can when you live in the big city!

Katie--Mine came from CajunGrocer (cajungrocer.com), which ships them alive via FedEx. I don't think you can find them alive here in the city (especially those from LA) but you might find Asian ones in Chinatown.

KimberlyDi said...

If you cook your crawfish in 2 batches, keep an eye on the cooler. If you are trying this outside, the wind might blow the cooler over, and then you have to hunt the crawfish down as they try to escape across your front yard... Happened last Sunday. Windy day. Excellent crawfish boil.

Elise ~*~ said...

I haven't a clue where that butter idea came from; if I put butter into crawfish boil I'd be run out of Louisiana! But that is very impressive to take it on in NYC!!!

Alexis said...

Ooohhh...damn! I had a boil for my 30th birthday last year when I was living in Oregon (I'm now in NY along with you). Here're a few tidbits I came up with:

1) Definitely make your own boil mix. It's so easy, and I was blown away by how awesome those guys tasted.

2) When you're cleaning 'em, just get a big ass stick to stir 'em around with inside a pot or something. Then you don't really even need to deal with the gloves, 'cause you'll never be close enough for them to pinch you!

3) A lot of recipes I found online suggested that if you have to make multiple pots, the latter ones are better 'cause the stock's had a chance to strengthen. They advise against topping off the water in the pot for this reason. I say - top off that water! I was just a might nonplussed to take the lid off my 2nd batch 5 minutes in and discover the suckers on top were still alive! Goddamn, I hope never to repeat that experience.

4) If you're boiling for non-Texans, you really only need 2 lbs of crawfish per person. Non-Texans are wieners that way. For Texans, use 4-5 lbs per person.

5) When you have leftovers to freeze (because non-Texans never eat enough, goddamn them), peel them before you even leave the boil site. It's a pain at the time, but in the long run it's so fabulously easy to just pluck the meat out of the freezer and fry it up for a crawfish tail salad or sautee it in a little roux for an etouffee. Peeling them frozen sucks.

That's all I can think of now. I've been toying with the idea of doing one here in NY, but I've got too many friends to pull it off in my apt, and I'm not sure the neighbors would take too kindly to me sticking some big-ass propane contraption out on the front sidewalk!

czken said...

The most important lesson I've learned about crawdad boils was posted prominently on the outside of the door on the men's room in a hole-in-the-wall coon-ass cafe just outside of Houston. It read, "CAUTION, wash you hands BEFORE using the toilet!"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lindsey said...

Alexis -- For Louisianians, plan on 7-10 pounds per person!

As far as cooking tips -- this is totally sexist, but I like it. I ice down the beer, let the boys cook and then eat all the deliciousness.

I second the addition of any and all veggies. And lots of cold beer.

The best thing about living in Louisiana -- even though a full boil takes all day, there are plenty of restaurants where you can go in and walk out minutes later with crawfish-to-go. It's like chinese food, only better (and no delivery, usually).

One more note, Emeril learned his skills as the head chef at Commander's Palace, an amazing restaurant in New Orleans' Garden District. I recommend lunch -- all the flavor for a lot less price and 25 cent martinis.

el Jefe said...

I am a Texpat as well! Working in Manhattan, living in Jersey. Just bought a house so I cant wait to have a boil now that I have a back yard. Not sure if you knew about this one but it seem that NJ has a Crawfish festival with shuttle service from Manhattan! www.crawfishfest.com its on May 30th and June 1st this year.

I do use the salt in the water to purge the boys before they boil. A recent addition to the boil has been to slice up some sausage in large chuncks and throw that in too. Fantastic.

The Pearl Onion said...

Broiled crawfish are seriously one of my all time favorite meals! That's so cool that you hosted a broil here in NYC. And I actually have found Zatarain’s crawfish seasoning here but unfortunately I can't recall where it was (some grocery store). When I saw it I immediately bought it in hopes of doing a broil, but after it sitting on my shelf for a few years I finally threw it out. My apartment is so tiny that I just don't think it's so realistic.

Anyway, I love your blog--just discovered it today--and I am looking forward to more postings that remind me of home (I grew up in Alabama and spent lots of time in New Orleans as well)!

ironymike said...

yes and yes on crawfish boils in ny.
i've been dreaming of doing this in my friends backyard in Brooklyn since the winter. awesome post.much inspiration! i'm on a mission.

Jennifer said...

Kalustyan's, a gourmet food shop in NYC, carries Zatarain's Crab, Shrimp and Crawfish Boil-in-a-Bag. Just scroll down the page from the link below until you find it.

http://www.kalustyans.com/catalog.asp?menucategory_id=191&category_id=130

Anonymous said...

Shrimp boils are just as good in the "off" Season....we do two cookers and make sure there is enough to make etoufee when we are finished pigging.
We pick up 40 lbs or so from the boats in Port A and freeze them in large containers filled with water. The shrimp lasted a year that way, finished off the last batch from last year on Father's day. Shrimp, snow crab was on sale at HEB, fresh corn on the cob, V&V sausage,mushrooms, fresh Texas new potatoes and 1015 onions out of the garden. I always add a handful of dried jap peppers to the boil and a good shake of cayenne to really kick things up!

Karen said...

Sure do miss the crawfish boils, just dumping all the food on the table and tucking in. We were recently in Denmark, Australia and they have some really interesting crayfish, they call them marrons. They're more the size of small to medium lobster and oh so tasty....Oh how I miss crawfish...

Anonymous said...

Sarah G.
trust me the really strange people live in north LA. The ONLY authorities on crawfish are south louisianians!
Also... I am with Rajun Cajun ...crawdad= nails on chalkboard.

Anonymous said...

Poor crawfish. It isn't their fault their too tasty eh?

Amanda said...

I've found live crawfish in DC at at the Maine Avenue Fish Market, as well as some of the sorriest looking barely-living crawfish in a Korean grocery in the Argyle neighborhood of Chicago.

I've boiled crawfish in my DC apartment. Since my ice chest barely holds 12 beers and I don't own a hose, I purged them in the bathtub. Dump them in; hose them down with the showerhead; wash out the dirt ring later. And they've got lots of room to move around but they can't climb out the sides of the tub, but it's fun to watch them try. We Louisiana expats are resourceful.

Also, Zatarain's crab/crawfish/whatever good boil is sold at at least one wine store and one Mediterranean grocery out here.

Anonymous said...

I would put all the spices in a cloth bag.

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