Wow, one of the local groceries carried crawfish (crayfish to some of you) last week. I don’t usually like posting two recipes in one day, but there’s a backlog here.
I picked up a half pound or so of them, asking for the most vibrant crawlers, which the fish monger was all to happy to give me (as these were intent on making escapes where ever they could, and the fish department was already busy in its own right, and they really aren’t used to penning in mobile food there…)
Crawfish are an awesome New Orleans treat – I remember my first visit down there back in the early ’90′s, a venue very near the Conference Center which served up crawfish by the bucket loads, followed by a great (raisin-less, yay!) bread pudding.
I got my batch of little guys home, and wondered what the cats would think of them. The cats ignored them. And I ignored the bread pudding idea this time around. I wanted to concentrate on crawfish.
Crawfish are best cooked within 24 hours (at least from the supermarket — if you get them fresh from the bayou or from the pond you raised them in, there will be more leeway, of course). I had these for lunch today.
I made my own crab (crawfish) boil, which doesn’t come without risks, as I will explain.
Half pound or so of crawfish per person.
Only increase the seasonings in ratio to the amount of water you use — you obviously don’t need to double the water for two servings, or quadruple it for four. You just want to adapt the amount of the water in your pot to be able to cover the crawfish with liquid while cooking, and the spices will go in ratio to that.
3-4 cups of water
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon medium-hot chili powder (sourced from Penzey’s in my case)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1.5 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
While you get the water to boil, add all of the above. The hazard I discovered, and this is NOT a potent hot result, is that the seasonings as the heat from the pot began working on them, caused me to start coughing. This is transitory, but forewarned is best armed. I could deal, as the culinary results were worth it.
Leave them boiling about 2-4 minutes, and drain.
Break off the tails, suck out the meat from the belly, break into the tail meat (use your thumb or a knife) and eat. Generally the claws are too small to bother with. But, hey. A couple of mine weren’t.
I was happy enough with the boil, as far as taste goes, that I prepared no dipping sauce for them. I served them with a simple leaf lettuce salad. The boil seasonings were sufficient for me, and this was a mid-day meal (which for me tends to be lighter than breakfast or dinner).