Fourth of July Crawfish Boil

In the Fall of 2005, the season of Katrina as I’ve come to know it, we had friends from New Orleans come to stay with us for awhile, and we came up with the idea of throwing a “Mardi Gras in October” benefit party. We do our usual Mardi Gras party every year, and I thought, why not have an extra one, but ask for donations for our New Orleans friends and their families. So we planned it, and it was a huge success, but that’s not the point of this post, so let me get to that. About two weeks before the party, we received a phone call from a family (PJ, C and their kids) who had permanently relocated to our area from New Orleans. It seems they had met the mother of a friend of ours and she told them about us and our party, and in a nutshell, they were wondering if they could come. And thus, a new friendship began.

Now, back in Louisiana for the Fourth of July, this family’s tradition was to have a crawfish boil. Well, I’m always up for a crawfish boil – it’s one of the things I truly miss about living in NOLA. When C called in the beginning of summer and proposed the idea, it was a no-brainer! So we had a good old-fashioned New Orleans-style crawfish boil for our Fourth of July. Here’s what we did.

There are several companies that ship crawfish from LA and you can find them online. I like to shop around to see who has the best price by the pound for the “mudbugs,” and the best shipping costs. They come shipped live, and with the seasoning and directions* you need to do your own crawfish boil. C had 20 pounds of crawfish delivered to her house, purged them, and brought them over on the Fourth. In the meantime, I had several ears of corn, a bag of red potatoes, a few lemon halves, and a couple of pounds of andouille sausage all set to go into the pot. As we went to throw in the seasoning, we realized that in the rush of getting the kids ready and getting to our house, C left the seasoning behind in Cheshire. I had some, but it was pretty old, so we ended up having to spruce it up a bit by adding some Tony Chachere’s and lots of salt. We brought the water and seasoning to a boil using our outdoor burner. Then we added the corn, potatoes, sausage and lemons to the pot and allowed them to boil for about 15 minutes. Next we threw in 10 pounds of crawfish, boiled them for 10 minutes, and then took the pot off the heat to allow everything to soak up the seasoning. We had already covered our patio table with newspaper, so we only had to drain the water and spill the contents of the basket onto the table. Our first batch was a bit bland, so we added more Cajun seasoning and salt as well as some straight cayenne pepper to the remainder. We then spent a glorious afternoon “sucking the heads and pinching the tails” as the saying goes. What a great way to spend a summer holiday with good friends!

*If you are unfamiliar with the whole crawfish boiling and/or eating process, this website is both humorous and informative.

No comments: