View Full Version : Lobsters in Louisiana

Brad Ford
07-29-2010, 12:06 PM
Not really, but some folks think crawfish (crayfish, crawdads, ditch bugs) look like'em.

Starting in about mid-january through about mid-may a major social event in our part of the world is the "crawfish boil".

Here's how to cook them:

Start with live crawfish. You can catch your own (too much trouble), or you can buy them. They are sold in what looks like big onion sacks, and each sack will weigh 30-40 lbs. I figure 3-5 lbs live weight per person (depending on mix of crowd). I generally try to hold it to about 3 sacks cause cooking more turns into a lot of work (and not much eating) for the chief cook and bottlewasher. What follows is for about 12-15 eaters.

I go to Sam's to get all the supplies:

1 big bag of lemons
1 big bag of onions
1 big bunch of garlic
12 ears fresh corn (if you can't get it fresh, skip it)
1 big bag small new potatoes
4 1-lb boxes of salt
1 1-lb box of ground pepper (black or white)
1 1-lb box of ground cayenne (red) pepper
4 pint bottles of Zatarain's liquid crab boil. It comes in gallon jugs, and if you can get it that way it will be cheaper.

Sometimes I will buy a piece of horseradish and a bottle of ketchup and mix up a cocktail sauce the night before. Some people like it.

Beer - I buy 3-4 beers per person. That doesn't sound like much, but it always seems to work out. Besides, it's considered very rude to show up at a crawfish boil without beer, so most everybody will bring beer. Also, I keep a couple of cases of back-up beer in my shed, just in case.

Purge crawfish (handle your crawfish with loving care - you want them alive).

I use 3 of those plastic tubs with rope handles. I used to use washtubs, but they rusted. Put about 1/3 box of salt in the tubs. Fill tubs about half full with water. Dump in a sack of crawfish. Use a boat paddle or axe handle to (gently) stir them around.

Pick out the dead ones. Use the onion sack to strain out the water. Refill the tub with clean water. Repeat until the water remains clear.

Some people (and almost all commercial establishments) don't purge their crawfish. If they don't I don't eat'em. Think about the vein in shrimp, but bigger and grittier.

While the purging is going on, wash the potatoes, shuck the corn and break the ears in half, peel and half the onions, peel about 20 cloves of garlic. Cut the lemons in half.

You'll need 2 pots and burners. I use a 15 gal pot for the crawfish and a "turkey fryer" pot, maybe 3 gal for the corn and potatoes. Some people cook the corn and potatoes in with the crawfish. I don't. It's too hard to get the timing right and the corn will soak up too much pepper.

Fill the corn pot about 1/2 full of water. I put about 1/4 cup of crab boil, salt (a good bit)and red pepper (not so much) to taste in the corn pot. Go ahead and start about 10 or so potatoes cooking.

Fill 10 gal pot about 1/3-1/2 full of water.

Add about a pint of crab boil (I use the liquid Zatarains, but use whatever you want), cayenne pepper to taste (about 1/4 box), salt (a lot), black pepper (about 1/4 box), 1/2 doz lemons cut and squeezed, 1/2doz onions, garlic if you like.

Bring to a vigorous rolling boil.

Add live crawfish. You can cook about 20-25 lbs in a pot. Return to boil for about 5 minutes. They'll turn bright red. DON'T OVER COOK the crawfish or they'll turn mushy. Some people say you should turn the fire off and let the crawfish soak in the spicy water. I think that over cooks them.

About 1-2 mins before crawfish are done, put corn in with the potatoes. DON'T OVER COOK the corn.

We set up two sawhorses with a sheet of plywood on it for a table.

Dump on table. Eat the tail, suck the head, drink the beer.

Repeat, adding additional spices to the crawfish pot each time. 3 sacks will mean about 4 or 5 batches to cook. The last batch is the cooks batch - it will be the best.

Some people like to throw sausage into the crawfish water. I don't. It makes your crawfish greasy, and after you've been eating for a little while your face will be shiny.

We gonna make a fais do do.

laissez le bon temp rouler

07-29-2010, 08:40 PM
Not only perfect but the best I've ever seen on how it oughta be done.
Ya'll get five stars for this one!!
Mud bugs forever!