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Old 05-19-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
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New Orleans Cajun Seafoodfest 2011

Okay there is no Seafoodfest. (is there? if so I'm going) That's just me celebrating Cajun seafood for a moment. But, if you haven't been to New Orleans and you love seafood (especially Cajun style) then I highly recommend it. I used to live there when I was a teenager and fell in love with the crawfish, gumbo, cajun shrimp etc.

Anyway, when we moved from N.O. there were two things we'd do a few times a year at least and that was either work on our chops replicating the authentic taste of boiled crawfish how it is in New Orleans, perfecting the okra-based seafood gumbo and doing mad shrimp and crab boils -OR- just order it in from one of the real deal places in New Orleans that happens to ship it Fedex on ice to you anywhere in the US. Yeah yeah I know... it sounds like an ad for the place. I do love this place and I wish them well. But I have no affiliation with any food place. I simply just love it. So I'll focus on the food itself and if you want to know the specific place we ordered from just ask.

First, the crawfish. MAN!!!!! These were so good. I like to eat them cold. I've always been a cold seafood platter lover. Like hot seafood too! But for some reason there's just something about cold shrimp and crawfish that works... maybe the freshness feeling of it. Light. In any case, these were cooked to perfection which is a relief because over-cooked seafood as you know can be mushy and lacking in taste. They've got it down and since I haven't ordered from them in awhile since Katrina I wasn't sure if it would still be as good but actually it may even be better than it's ever been oddly enough.

So how do I describe the taste of these???? They're sweet, tangy and in my opinion a perfect blend of spicy "kick" and flavor. They're not TOO spicy like a lot of places outside of New Orleans think it has to be. It's not a contest to see who can withstand the most pain... but it IS a contest to see who can blow through more crawfish in an hour complete with your skills taking out the tail and sucking the head. Yep! Sucking the head! A juicy crawfish will yeild some potent spice and flavor doing that (also a big one with soft claws are another juice mine).

So here's one that was absolutely delicious:



Here are the bags of the crawfish and shrimp. The shrimp were very good too. They are a little mealy and harder to shell than if they were cooked fresh and just a little less. It varies from shrimp to shrimp in the bag. But the taste... remember these have all been marinating in this bag overnight! The taste is incredible. I prefer the crawfish though because they're more unique but they're small so the shrimp kind of helps to fill you up more as well.


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Old 05-19-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
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BAM!



Haha. Man, the juice and spice almost gives you a buzz. We ate so many of these for lunch. I'm a little dizzy. Everyone else in the office was perplexed. Those brave enough to walk into the room were given a sample. Some had never had one before. But they liked it! A lot of people don't know you can just order it already made from New Orleans restaurants (some of them anyway). Costs a bit just to send it so it's a good idea to get some other things you can freeze like gumbo etc. It's not necessarily something to do all the time but once? Why not? Great for a party.

Okay so enough pitching that idea. You'll do it or you won't. I'll show a few other things we ordered. The gumbo was great. Upon tasting it I realized the 2 things my own gumbo is still not nailing and one is the fresh oysters, the other is the fresh blue crab. The crabmeat and oysters in the container are ok I guess but... it's just not the same. A lot more work to do it that way though but making a gumbo isn't exactly fast anyway. Not sure exactly where to get fresh shucked oysters here in Miami though. Well, I guess the fish markets but I've never gotten them there already shucked. I would imagine there's a time-frame to start eating them from the time that's done. I don't know... I LOVE LOVE LOVE oysters but I did get sick from them once so I am gun shy. The fresh blue crab though is a whole other story. I think that's really important if you want to nail the authentic gumbo.

After eating these (and they're almost done) we're inspired to do our own crawfish boil soon while the taste is still fresh in our mouths from this. Will we be able to nail it? Hmmm. I don't know. It's pretty tough... not to make it taste GOOD but to make it taste just like THESE. Still, it's fun trying anyway.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for reminding me about crayfish. I have only had them once. I was on vacation with my family at Lake Tahoe. We met some other Swedes on the beach and they shared their freshly caught, freshly boiled crayfish with us. They were delicious.

Anyhoo, because you reminded me, I thought to check out the local Swedish club's events. They do have a crayfish supper (Kräftskiva). They had it in October last year. It's traditionally in August in Sweden. I'm going to make sure I don't miss that.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:36 PM   #4
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Cool Taxlady. I caught some crawfish in Tahoe once. We didn't catch enough to do a boil though. It was many years ago but I've often thought about going back and doing it up the way you described. Love that kind of stuff.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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Ft. Lauderdale used to host a Cajun/Zydeco festival. We had some great times there. But like most festivals, it became way over crowded. Some of the bands were great! BeauSoleil, File, Steve Riely, Porch Dogs, Wayne Toups, Rosely Ladette and Geno Delafose! Ya EEEEE! Laissez les bon temps Rouler!

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Old 05-20-2011, 12:17 AM   #6
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Funny I believe I played in a band at one of those festivals years ago. Rosy Baby was there representing. They are from what I've seen the best Cajun place in Broward but as I said... it's very good but to me it is not nearly the same as the places in New Orleans.

I wish it was. I wish there was a place I could go to around here for shrimp po boys on a fresh french roll that's crispy on the outside but chewy. I remember the first time I saw a shrimp po boy. It was at the one year of High School I spent there and I saw some kid pull one out for lunch. When I saw fried shrimp in what looked like a sub I said "What's THAAAAAT??????" and he let me have a piece. Hooked on that one ever since. We used to go to a place called "Streetcar" that had some of the best ones. We'd go once a week at least.

Of course, technically I am on a diet at the moment so it's probably good there isn't a place like Streetcar here anyway. But some things are worth compromising a diet for and a really good Shrimp Po Boy is on that list for me. I could just make it at home though... gotta find the right bread and figure out the batter just right. Fun project but deep frying at home can be a mess and I never know what to do with all that oil after... or the guilt.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
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Here's a close up of the shrimp:



They were pretty darn good and head on which I like. Keeps the juices in. You can suck the head on the shrimp too. You put your tongue in when you do it so you don't completely take EVERYTHING in. Just mainly the juice. But it's like a shot of whiskey almost. Potent!
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:24 AM   #8
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Looks fantastic! Why buy it boiled when you could get the live and do it yourself? I always thought part of the fun was the cook.

I'd like to know where you get the crawfish. I've been get'n live from LA crawfish co. Has worked well for us anyway.

Great pix.....keep them come'n. If you have a recipe for the boil, I'd like to see it. We love crawfish, shrimp, and snow crab boiled in cajun spices, lemons, onions, garlic, etc.

So hungry now.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAL View Post
Looks fantastic! Why buy it boiled when you could get the live and do it yourself? I always thought part of the fun was the cook.

I'd like to know where you get the crawfish. I've been get'n live from LA crawfish co. Has worked well for us anyway.

Great pix.....keep them come'n. If you have a recipe for the boil, I'd like to see it. We love crawfish, shrimp, and snow crab boiled in cajun spices, lemons, onions, garlic, etc.

So hungry now.
This is the place I got the crawfish from. Deanie's Seafood New Orleans Restaurant Dining Catering Parties Banquets I think they'll also send them live and you can get their own spice boil mix. I haven't done that before with them but I have done my own boils at home. So, to answer your question the reason we order it in already cooked is the same reason one might enjoy a particular meal at a restaurant. Plus we ordered it to arrive at the office where we work so it was an instant "throw down" seafood lunch (and a few people who never got to try it got a chance). But I agree it is also fun making it yourself. Hard to get it EXACTLY like they do it in certain New Orleans restaurants like this but fun getting close. I also think that when you get a chance to try a certain dish at a restaurant that is known for it then you have a good reference point for your own cooking.

As for a recipe, first Craig has a great post in a thread in this section on Crawfish Boil with a detailed recipe. I do mine a little differently. For my boils I also use garlic and onions. Some Zatarain's crab boil. Might throw in a few bay leaves. I don't put in corn all the time though but it's a popular thing to do. I use Old Bay cajun spices, garlic powder, cayenne, pepper, salt, celery salt, lemon and Worcestershire sauce. After it's boiled I put some more Old Bay, celery salt and Worcestershire and while we do usually eat them right out of the pot hot they tend to taste even better later on or the next day after soaking in the juices. That's also why these crawfish ordered in taste so good. As I said not only are they just good chilled anyway but they've been marinating overnight and some of them are pretty juicy.
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