The month of March may best be known for the start of spring, but in Louisiana March means crawfish boil season is here. Louisianians love to boil, peel and eat these freshwater crustaceans in quantity and quality. We do love our seafood here in the boot, and from March to June we set the tables, plan the menus, and prepare the seafood dishes around a crawfish boil. Crawfish taste almost like lobster, with the differences between the two basically amounting to cost, size and seasoning.
Crawfish are native to the swamps and marshes of south Louisiana and farmed crawfish ponds of the Gulf Coast region. Louisiana produces approximately 150 million pounds of crawfish annually, and also ranks as the nations number one provider of shrimp, oysters, crabs and alligator. Boiled to seasoned perfection, the crawfish boil is a weekend backyard gathering, festival or fais do-do in the making.
Those in the best price for crawfish in your area know you need an app for that. The Crawfish App is a free app available on iTunes. The app uses your device’s location or an entered address to list crawfish vendors in the area. You have the ability to view by price, reviews, or distance.
It’s amazing how a crustacean can create culinary excitement throughout the cities and parishes. We love to host a crawfish boil or two or ten during the season for friends, neighbors, coworkers and family. Fire up the pot and bring on the onions, garlic, celery, potatoes, lemons, crab boil and culinary imagination. I’ve been to crawfish boils where the host chef adds smoked or andouille sausage, okra, carrots, cabbage and fresh mushrooms to the seasoned boil. The flavor and the taste can be summed up in three words. C’est. Si. Bon! Food is the language of Louisiana, and ours is a flavored speak.
Here’s a tip from the Places In The Home test kitchen~ add a drop of Zatarain’s liquid shrimp & crab boil to potato soup. Delicious.
Zatarain’s® Crawfish Boil
3 pounds yellow onions
6 heads garlic
6 lemons, halved
1 package (73 ounces) ZATARAIN’S® Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil – Complete
4 pounds small red potatoes
1 sack (35 to 40 pounds) live crawfish, cleaned
1 bunch celery, cut in bite-size pieces
12 frozen half ears corn on the cob
Fill an 80-quart crawfish boiling pot with a basket 1/3 to ½ with water. Place pot on a jet-style propane burner on high heat. Add onions, garlic and lemon halves. (You can use a small laundry bag for lemons and garlic. Or just leave the onions in the mesh bag they come in from the grocery with tags removed.)
Bring to full rolling boil. Stir in Crab Boil Complete. Add potatoes (in their mesh bag from the grocery or a laundry bag). Reduce heat to medium-low. Boil 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Remove potatoes.
Return water to full rolling boil on high heat. Add crawfish, celery, liquid Crab Boil and Crab Boil bag. Return water to full rolling boil on high heat. Start checking doneness just before water returns to full rolling boil. As soon as small gaps start to appear between the head and the tail on the largest crawfish, they are done. Turn off heat. Add frozen corn and cooked potatoes. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove corn and potatoes. Let crawfish stand for a minimum of 30 minutes, but 45 minutes is better. Serves: 20
To clean crawfish: Pour live crawfish into a washtub or ice chest; cover with water. Drain. Repeat 3 to 4 times until crawfish are clean. Drain. Discard any dead crawfish and debris.
Turn up the heat, the music and the good times with a crawfish boil.