Crawfish Finally

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CraigC

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Jan 27, 2011
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No local available, no problem. Just ordered 30 pounds of XL WC crawfish from Kyle Leblanc seafood in Raceland, LA. Will pick up at Ft. Lauderdale international on Friday. Doing the boil on Saturday. Pics to follow!
 

powerplantop

Executive Chef
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Feb 26, 2009
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Louisiana
The past couple of weeks the crawfish shacks have had long lines. Nice weather combined with everyone at home has made a strong demand.
 

CraigC

Master Chef
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Jan 27, 2011
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The local places that usually carry them at reasonable prices aren't getting any right now and I'm Jonesing for some.
 

skilletlicker

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Memphis, TN
In the early fifties, Mom & Dad bought a house in Southern California. At the end of the street was a vacant area. Me and my new next-door neighbor and best-friend named it Polywog Pond. We caught "Crawdads" and kept them as pets.

A few years later my family moved to the deep south. Over the course of several more years, I came to enjoy traditional southern cooking as well as Creole, Cajun, and Caribbean cuisines.

But to this day, I have an aversion to eating crawfish. I've done it of course. You cant live in this part of the country without pretending to enjoy MudBug Festivals but, on the other hand, you never forget the pets you had when you were nine years old.
 
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medtran49

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Feb 20, 2011
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Florida
Craig. How did you pick a supplier? I found this one. Ever use them? TIA.
Buy Live Crawfish Online | Fresh Crawfish For Sale - Louisiana Crawfish Company

I skipped them because I believe they use pond raised crawfish. You want river or spillway raised, i.e. moving water supply. They tend to taste muddy if they are raised in still water and you don't want field run.

I checked yelp reviews and BBB accreditation. Kyle LeBlanc is also cheaper by about $3 per pound BTW.

The ones we got are all a good size and clean. He'll find out the dead count when he purges them, as they are on ice so aren't very active. We'll report back and I'll be leaving a review on yelp, Google, and trip adviser one way or the other.
 
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medtran49

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Florida
Craig said 5 or 6 dead out of 30 pounds. That is phenomenal! Especially since they got here late Thursday, sat overnight in the SW cargo perishable area, we picked up yesterday and he didn't cook until today. Average body size is 3.25 to 3.5 inches, quite a few are bigger. Claws are big enough on some to make it worth cracking them. He'll post pics later.
 

medtran49

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Florida
Actually, now that we are done picking all of them, I'd revise the average body size (not including claws) up a bit by 0.75 inch or so.

Craig has other pictures to post, but this was one of the biggest ones, and there were quite a few around its size. A few small ones, but the giant ones far outnumbered the smaller ones. Was actually able to get a good bit of claw meat, as well as tail meat. Keep in mind its tail was arced up and not flat, so it was actually closer to 8.5 to 8.75 pushed flat.
 

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CraigC

Master Chef
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Too tired to mess with pictures last night. So here they are. Something I've never run into, they were purged before shipping. When I went to purge them, the water ran clear.:ohmy:

Fresh out of the pot with steam rising in the cooler.
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Clearer view.
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The vege. I only had one stick of andouille left.
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Dinner plate!
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When we are done eating, we normally separate the heads from the tails, divide the tails into 1 pound packages and freeze the packages for picking when we go to use the tail meat. This time we picked all the tail meat and will divide, vacuum seal and freeze today. After I clean up and put away my cooking equipment, I'll be making a trip to Restaurant Depot to get some boneless pork butt to prep for Tasso and Andouille making next weekend.
 

Roll_Bones

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
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5,421
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Southeast US
I skipped them because I believe they use pond raised crawfish. You want river or spillway raised, i.e. moving water supply. They tend to taste muddy if they are raised in still water and you don't want field run.

I checked yelp reviews and BBB accreditation. Kyle LeBlanc is also cheaper by about $3 per pound BTW.

The ones we got are all a good size and clean. He'll find out the dead count when he purges them, as they are on ice so aren't very active. We'll report back and I'll be leaving a review on yelp, Google, and trip adviser one way or the other.

Thanks I will check out LeBlanc.
Your boil looks like a resounding success! I too, am envious! And now hungry!
 

powerplantop

Executive Chef
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Feb 26, 2009
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Louisiana
Too tired to mess with pictures last night. So here they are. Something I've never run into, they were purged before shipping. When I went to purge them, the water ran clear.:ohmy:

A lot of places now sell them purged. The farm will harvest and wash them then hold in clean water for a day or two before shipping to market.
 

CraigC

Master Chef
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Jan 27, 2011
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Can someone explain what "purging" is? I am pretty sure I know. but want to be certain and how to do it.

All of the crawfish I've gotten prior to this last batch have been shipped as they are caught, still having mud on them and in them, after all they are called "Mud bugs". Purging is used to remove this mud. I divide a sack between two coolers, which I then fill with tap water, soaking them for 5 minutes or so, then drain. You'll be surprised at how dirty that draining water becomes. I give them a good rinse and repeat the process until the draining water runs clear. Some folks put a 28 oz "can" of non iodized table salt for the last soak, which they let go for 15 minutes, then give them a last drain and rinse.
 
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Roll_Bones

Master Chef
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Oct 19, 2013
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Southeast US
Thanks Craig.
What do you do with all the left over crawfish? The shells? You mention its just you and your wife. Same here and food waste is evident in our house.
You did say a bit about this above.
Please expand on the day after the big boil?

TIA John
 

CraigC

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
6,483
Thanks Craig.
What do you do with all the left over crawfish? The shells? You mention its just you and your wife. Same here and food waste is evident in our house.
You did say a bit about this above.
Please expand on the day after the big boil?

TIA John

We pick the tail meat that day, vacuum seal in 1, 1/2 and 1/4 pound packages and freeze for later use such as pizza, crawfish pie and gumbo or jambalaya. We save any leftover vege and sausage to make "boil soup". I bag the shells, if I have room in one of the freezers, I'll put them there until garbage day and if not they go right into the garbage. When we lived on a lake, I'd just toss them in it. The fish seemed to enjoy it.
 

medtran49

Executive Chef
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
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Location
Florida
I don't really make stock with the shells, as you have to remember that the spice mix is pretty spicy, so any stock is going to have some spice to it.

At a minimum, you twist off the tails and freeze them. You can't freeze whole crawfish because the fat and stuff in the heads goes rancid fairly quickly. We pretty much clean the fat off, yellowish stuff, whether we just tail and freeze or actually peel the tails and freeze. You can save the fat and freeze it separately if you want, then use it quickly. We make etouffe, crawfish pie, crawfish macaroni and cheese, etc. It takes a good many crawfish to make a pound of tail meat. We ended up with 2.5 pounds of picked meat after what we ate for dinner.

I'll be making "boil soup" this week with the rest of the leftovers. I combine the potatoes and some of the onion and garlic with chicken stock and puree. You could use some of the shells to make stock for this or etouffee if you want and have the storage room. Cut the corn off the cobs and chop the andouille up, put them in the soup base and this time I actually remembered to make a 0.25 pound bag of crawfish to garnish the soup.
 
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Roll_Bones

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,421
Location
Southeast US
Do you guys suck the heads? I never have, but plan on it next time I have fresh crawfish.
With fresh, head on shrimp as well.
 

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