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Old 04-24-2011, 09:13 AM   #1
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Crawfish Boil

It is getting to that time of year when the peak of crawfish season is upon us. I really like this recipe for boiling them.

Cooking Crawfish
by Leonce Collins
How to boil crawfish Cajun style!
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
This will feed 8 people, or three Cajuns.

Equiment needed: One large cooking pot with wire basket big enough to hold 25 pounds of Crawfish. A lid for the pot and a small outdoor propane cooker, as you will cook this outside.
Go buy several cases of cold beer and drink the first one.

Then go shopping for 25# sack of live Crawfish, 3 bags of crab boil, 1 small bottle of liquid crab boil, 3 round boxes of salt, 1 square box of rock salt, 8 small onions, 8 small potatoes and 8 ears of corn, one head fresh garlic, small can of cayenne pepper, 4 lemons, and a box of Tony Chachere's creole seasoning. Now that you're finished shopping, drink another beer.

Now it's time to go to work cooking the Crawfish! One thing you must always remember about Crawfish....first separate the live Crawfish from the Crawfish that won't make it to the pot. Next you must purge the Crawfish. Get a large tub of water or two large ice chests. You will use this to purge the crawfish. Place the box of rock salt in the water. Stir the water with the salt and then place the Crawfish into the water. Let the Crawfish purge for 7 minutes. Remove the Crawfish and place in an ice chest until ready to cook. Time to drink another beer.

Fill the pot with fresh water half full, place on cooker, and start the fire. Place a box and a half of salt into the water, 1 bag of crab boil, a half bottle of liquid crab boil, 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper and two lemons cut in half--squeeze each half into the pot and drop the lemon. Separate the garlic into pods and cut the small ends of each garlic pod, then drop them into pot. Place lid on pot. Time to drink another beer.

Let the water come to a boil for two minutes--that way the spices will mix well. Drop the 8 onions after cutting the ends--yes, drop the whole onion into the pot--4 minutes later, drop the 8 small potatoes; 4 minutes later, drop the 8 corns. Let it cook for five minutes. A good way to check for readiness is to take a fork or sharp knife and stab the potatoes and the onion. If it goes in easy, it is cooked. Lower the fire on the burner and remove the basket. Place the vegetable in a small clean ice chest--don't close the lid, just place foil on top. Place the basket back in the pot. Time to drink another beer.

Turn the heat up on the burner, place the other two bags of crab boil in the pot, the rest of the liquid crab boil, and one large heaping teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Take the rest of the lemons cut in half, squeeze each half into the pot and drop the lemon. Place the last two boxes of salt into the water. When the water comes to a boil, place the Crawfish into the basket and place lid on top. Time for another beer.

When the water comes back to a boil--you need to watch this part-- let it boil for 4 minutes, turn the fire off, let it simmer for 3 minutes, and remove.
Now get an old table, and place old newspaper on top. Dump the basket of Crawfish on top of the newspaper, and sprinkle with Tony Chachere's creole seasoning. Dump the onions, potatoes, corn and garlic on top of the Crawfish. Now it's time to really drink beer and eat. You will love the vegetables, and you can cook them this way without having to cook Crawfish! Hope you pass a good time eating the Crawfish!

I suggest that you make a sauce on the side using mayo, tomato ketchup, a little Worcestershire sauce, and little garlic power. Mix this to your liking. Use the sauce to dip your peeled Crawfish into if you desire.

Craig

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Old 04-24-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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That sounds mighty good! It kinda reminds me of a Frogmore stew, only cajun style.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:22 AM   #3
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LOL! Other than all the salt sounds like you are right here in the heart LA.

Oh, by the way if you put all that salt in just buy more beer!
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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LOL! Other than all the salt sounds like you are right here in the heart LA.

Oh, by the way if you put all that salt in just buy more beer!
I really don't use salt, except to purge the mudbugs, just picked this recipe for the beer! Abita beer that is! Amber, Purple Haze, Turbo Dog etc.

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Old 04-24-2011, 09:35 AM   #5
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what is a "round box"?

Does sound like alot of salt, but worth a try.(I don't think I do anything the same way twice)

I hope we get rain today and tomorrow cause we need it and I'm really jones'n for another boil.

Thanks, Craig!
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Nice one. If I can add to this my 2 cents... A few cajun secrets to consider in this are celery salt and Worcestershire sauce in the boil itself. Those two ingredients seem to be an important key factor in the authentic taste of New Orleans Crawfish. Less cayenne which can mask the flavor with "blow your head off" spice which some places (the few that make Crawfish) do outside of New Orleans (there's a Cajun place here in Ft. Lauderdale that tends to do that unfortunately).

Another thing that really helps them taste amazing is to cook them and serve them the next day after they've been soaking in the juices in a bag or bowl overnight (and I usually add some Worcestershire sauce to that too after the boil). This way if you're really going to get into it and "suck the head" (which is a New Orleans traditional thing to do) then it really has some juice and the right amount of kick vs. flavor.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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Our peak crawfish season came and went over a month ago. Ya'll must use different cropping system than us.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:49 PM   #8
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None of my cajun friends or cajun SIL and his family add worchestershire nor celery salt (unless there is some in the Chacheres) to there boils. You ever tried to tell a cajun they have to wait till tomorrow?

You mention a place in Ft. Lauderdale. Are you talking about Rosie Baby in Lauderhill?

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Old 05-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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Yes, Rosie Baby. Fun little place that I like anyway but unfortunately they don't make their Po Boys, Seafood Gumbo or Crawfish quite like it is popularly done in New Orleans. If it was I'd go there more often. It's cool that they even HAVE crawfish there but from my experience they were exactly what I'd call "blow your head off"-spicy and that to me ruins it. Way too much cayenne.

I used to live in New Orleans and when we moved back to Florida we missed the seafood so much we ordered Crawfish shipped in dry ice from a popular restaurant there called Deanie's. We stopped ordering it once my brother and I finally figured out how to make the creole crabs, shrimp and crawfish boils taste like they do from Deanie's. Pretty close anyway. The three things I mentioned were key elements. Celery salt, Worcestershire and letting it soak in the juices overnight.

I forget how we found out but I vaguely recall someone telling us those were important secret ingredients that not everyone knew. But, really, the best way to tell is by taste comparison. Deanie's has a website where you can order crawfish (when it's in season ;) ) and many other things (gumbo, etouffe etc.) shipped in dry ice. Deanie's is an excellent example of authentic cajun seafood. So, tweaking one's own crawfish boil until it tastes more like the one from Deanie's is in my opinion not a bad way to get closer. That's what we did.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:35 PM   #10
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Yes, Rosie Baby. Fun little place that I like anyway but unfortunately they don't make their Po Boys, Seafood Gumbo or Crawfish quite like it is popularly done in New Orleans. If it was I'd go there more often. It's cool that they even HAVE crawfish there but from my experience they were exactly what I'd call "blow your head off"-spicy and that to me ruins it. Way too much cayenne.

I used to live in New Orleans and when we moved back to Florida we missed the seafood so much we ordered Crawfish shipped in dry ice from a popular restaurant there called Deanie's. We stopped ordering it once my brother and I finally figured out how to make the creole crabs, shrimp and crawfish boils taste like they do from Deanie's. Pretty close anyway. The three things I mentioned were key elements. Celery salt, Worcestershire and letting it soak in the juices overnight.

I forget how we found out but I vaguely recall someone telling us those were important secret ingredients that not everyone knew. But, really, the best way to tell is by taste comparison. Deanie's has a website where you can order crawfish (when it's in season ;) ) and many other things (gumbo, etouffe etc.) shipped in dry ice. Deanie's is an excellent example of authentic cajun seafood. So, tweaking one's own crawfish boil until it tastes more like the one from Deanie's is in my opinion not a bad way to get closer. That's what we did.
I order a sack or two each season, when I can afford it. The cost of the live crawfish is usually around $1.99 lb and with overnight airport to airport freight it is cheaper than buying them at the local seafood place that brings them in. Since FLL is close, I just pick them up there.

Since I make my own Andouille and Tasso, I prefer to make my own cajun and creole dishes. Homemade is always better,IMO.

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Old 05-16-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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I agree home-made is great for many reasons (budget, quality, generous portions... plus it's fun). Good tip on having the live ones shipped. Thanks. Might have to try that. $1.99 per lb rocks.

I'm just an amateur home cook for fun and most of the time I make up my own improvised mixed cuisine that's not traditional in any way but sometimes I have a favorite meal from a particular place and I go on a mission to reverse engineer it as best I can so I can recreate that specific authentic flavor. The few things from New Orleans that I feel I've come closest to are the seafood boils (Crawfish, Crab and Shrimp) and Seafood Gumbo. Those are my favorite cajun dishes and after a lot of experimenting it's really close to the mark (if the mark is a restaurant like Deanie's). There are a few things I like from New Orleans that I haven't tried as much and haven't been successful at yet. One of them is authentic BBQ Shrimp as one would find from a restaurant that is known for it like "Pascal Manales". But, one of the things I hope to learn are these restaurant secrets to signature dishes... what are the particular ingredients or cooking procedures that make it taste that so exceptional?
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:34 PM   #12
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The crawfish are $1.99 lb, but they end up around $3.99 lb once the freight is tacked on.

You should get Emerils "Louisiana Real and Rustic CB". It has one of the best "BBQ" Shrimp recipes I've ever tried. It is even better if you make his worchestershire sauce, much better than store bought.

I don't like boiled crab. I much prefer them steamed Maryland style. I've even steamed live golden crab. If you haven't tried them, your really missing out. They are a locally caught, deep water species with a lot of meat yield.

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Old 05-16-2011, 06:10 PM   #13
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Thanks. I don't have a lot of recipe books but someone got me Emeril's. So I will try that one. I'm being really picky though because I love shrimp and even my "misses" at trying to nail that weren't bad or anything. Just not quite the restaurant flavor I hope to get sometimes. I'd have to try Pascal's again just to remind myself how good it is - or demystify if it is better than I remember or over-rated (always a possibility... but doubtful in this case I think). But as long as I have a reference in mind there's a difference to me in making a dish according to what's in a recipe book vs. capturing something really close to the flavor I experienced at an optimal place for that dish. BOTH are fine and can be fantastic (who is to say the recipe book home made version isn't going to be better?). But, it all depends on how much one loves the reference dish and wants to find a reasonable way to recreate it.

I agree with you about Golden Crabs. They are great! I first had them at a place in Hollywood you probably know called The Rustic Inn. They are famous for making "Garlic Crabs" and they use Goldens (as well as others). It's really good but because they make so many of them I would imagine it is hard to control how much butter, oil and garlic they each get... so they tend to just come out drenched. For my tastes, I prefer it more natural or at least with a regulated amount of garlic, lemon, herbs and butter. So sometimes I get an idea from a restaurant and find ways to improve it to my own particular taste (or make it more healthy as well such as in this case).
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #14
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The only Rustic Inn I know is north of Griffin Road, just west of Ravenswood Rd. I used to live in an apartment a block away. I hated the place at night when they pounded the crab mallets on the table.

The best garlic crabs I have ever had were from a place called Capt. Crabs Take-Away on Miami Gardens Drive, on the north side, between Red Road (NW 57th ave) and NW 47th ave. I haven't tried the place in over 20 years, but it is still there. I tend to avoid Dade County as much as possible. The English language isn't previlant there any more.

I'm a diver and founding member of the Reef Rapers Dive Club (j/k). There are some coral crabs that would be compitition, in size, for Alaskan King crab. The only time you will see them out and about is at night. One is enough to feed several people.

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Old 05-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #15
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Yes that's the Rustic Inn I speak of. I've always liked the place but I can do without the hammers on birthdays.

Dade County's inconsistent lack of English does have its plus points though if you're into Latin cuisine. So much great authentic Brazilian, Columbian, Cuban, Argentinian, Mexican, Peruvian (Ceviche!), Spanish Tapas(!!!!) if you know the right places to go. I don't speak Spanish but luckily I have friends that do so some places I am able to try out thanks to them. One way to look at it anyway...

But whatever with that... what is this coral crab the size of a King Crab you speak of????????? How come we never see that at the local markets? Is it great? It must be. I think I am going to make a thread dedicated just to crabs. I have to show you something really incredible anyway. But I want to see what these coral crabs look like. Do you have a pic? Forget that, I want to EAT one!
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:31 PM   #16
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Don't get me wrong, I love Cuban and Caribbean food. I can get by in Spanish as long as it isn't delivered at the warp speed Cubans tend to use.

Coral crabs are the vegans of the crab world. Probably not easily baited. I always catch them by hand.

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Old 05-16-2011, 08:41 PM   #17
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Coral crabs are the vegans of the crab world. Probably not easily baited. I always catch them by hand.

Craig
Wow, now there's a goal. I don't dive though. Hog Snapper is apparently another favorite amongst divers. I think you have to go spear fishing to get them. Have you done that before?

These coral crabs... do they have a season? Are they hard to find or do you know where to go to get them consistently? I need to try one of these. Why do they not have it in local seafood markets? That sounds amazing!
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:04 PM   #18
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Wow, now there's a goal. I don't dive though. Hog Snapper is apparently another favorite amongst divers. I think you have to go spear fishing to get them. Have you done that before?

These coral crabs... do they have a season? Are they hard to find or do you know where to go to get them consistently? I need to try one of these. Why do they not have it in local seafood markets? That sounds amazing!
From your "lotta crab" thread, you have already had this crab im Panama City.





Note the claws! You just can't see the spike.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:10 PM   #19
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Really... so that can be caught right here in South Florida? I guess that makes sense since Panama isn't THAT far away. I still don't understand how/why this isn't available in restaurants or markets here though. It was delicious.

Ironically we found that crab when looking for something else called a Centollo which is a Spider Crab that is supposed to be delicious as well. We couldn't find that (might not have been in season) but we found this which was incredible. Thanks for sharing. I need to find a way to get one now.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:33 PM   #20
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Really... so that can be caught right here in South Florida? I guess that makes sense since Panama isn't THAT far away. I still don't understand how/why this isn't available in restaurants or markets here though. It was delicious.

Ironically we found that crab when looking for something else called a Centollo which is a Spider Crab that is supposed to be delicious as well. We couldn't find that (might not have been in season) but we found this which was incredible. Thanks for sharing. I need to find a way to get one now.
LOL, this crab is often refered to as a spider crab and king crab. There are 4 more common species of lobster in Florida that are not commercially harvested. Two of which, the slipper and shovel nose, I find much sweeter than the spineys. BTW, the hogfish isn't a snapper, it is in the wrass family. Most are taken by spearfishing, of which I am an avid participant.

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Crawfish Boil It is getting to that time of year when the peak of crawfish season is upon us. I really like this recipe for boiling them.:wink: [SIZE=2]Cooking Crawfish by Leonce Collins How to boil crawfish Cajun style!   --------------------------------------------------------------------------------   This will feed 8 people, or three Cajuns. Equiment needed: One large cooking pot with wire basket big enough to hold 25 pounds of Crawfish. A lid for the pot and a small outdoor propane cooker, as you will cook this outside. Go buy several cases of cold beer and drink the first one. Then go shopping for 25# sack of live Crawfish, 3 bags of crab boil, 1 small bottle of liquid crab boil, 3 round boxes of salt, 1 square box of rock salt, 8 small onions, 8 small potatoes and 8 ears of corn, one head fresh garlic, small can of cayenne pepper, 4 lemons, and a box of Tony Chachere's creole seasoning. Now that you're finished shopping, drink another beer. Now it's time to go to work cooking the Crawfish! One thing you must always remember about Crawfish....first separate the live Crawfish from the Crawfish that won't make it to the pot. Next you must purge the Crawfish. Get a large tub of water or two large ice chests. You will use this to purge the crawfish. Place the box of rock salt in the water. Stir the water with the salt and then place the Crawfish into the water. Let the Crawfish purge for 7 minutes. Remove the Crawfish and place in an ice chest until ready to cook. Time to drink another beer. Fill the pot with fresh water half full, place on cooker, and start the fire. Place a box and a half of salt into the water, 1 bag of crab boil, a half bottle of liquid crab boil, 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper and two lemons cut in half--squeeze each half into the pot and drop the lemon. Separate the garlic into pods and cut the small ends of each garlic pod, then drop them into pot. Place lid on pot. Time to drink another beer. Let the water come to a boil for two minutes--that way the spices will mix well. Drop the 8 onions after cutting the ends--yes, drop the whole onion into the pot--4 minutes later, drop the 8 small potatoes; 4 minutes later, drop the 8 corns. Let it cook for five minutes. A good way to check for readiness is to take a fork or sharp knife and stab the potatoes and the onion. If it goes in easy, it is cooked. Lower the fire on the burner and remove the basket. Place the vegetable in a small clean ice chest--don't close the lid, just place foil on top. Place the basket back in the pot. Time to drink another beer. Turn the heat up on the burner, place the other two bags of crab boil in the pot, the rest of the liquid crab boil, and one large heaping teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Take the rest of the lemons cut in half, squeeze each half into the pot and drop the lemon. Place the last two boxes of salt into the water. When the water comes to a boil, place the Crawfish into the basket and place lid on top. Time for another beer. When the water comes back to a boil--you need to watch this part-- let it boil for 4 minutes, turn the fire off, let it simmer for 3 minutes, and remove. Now get an old table, and place old newspaper on top. Dump the basket of Crawfish on top of the newspaper, and sprinkle with Tony Chachere's creole seasoning. Dump the onions, potatoes, corn and garlic on top of the Crawfish. Now it's time to really drink beer and eat. You will love the vegetables, and you can cook them this way without having to cook Crawfish! Hope you pass a good time eating the Crawfish! I suggest that you make a sauce on the side using mayo, tomato ketchup, a little Worcestershire sauce, and little garlic power. Mix this to your liking. Use the sauce to dip your peeled Crawfish into if you desire. Craig [/SIZE] 3 stars 1 reviews
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