So what does one do with leftover crawfish? The first response would be nothing, because there are usually none leftover. However, if there are some leftover, it’s good practice to peel what’s left when you’re done eating since your hands are already dirty anyway. The bonus is that you can usually find room for a couple more if you do that. When you have a pile of crawfish tails, you can keep them for a day or two in the refrigerator if you plan to use them right away, or you can freeze them and use them later. I tend to use them right away, because once I’ve had a taste, I always want more. I like to use them to make a crawfish-shrimp pasta, which is what I did the day after our crawfish boil this summer. I started with a tablespoon of olive oil mixed with a tablespoon of butter that I heated in a large sauté pan. In the meantime I put on a pot of water to boil my pasta – I chose pappardelle this time but would go with something smaller next time. I then did a simple sauté of one small chopped onion, two cloves of garlic (chopped finely), and some fresh cherry tomatoes that I halved. I tossed that around until the onion and garlic seemed done, then I added a pound of raw (peeled/deveined) shrimp and cooked that until the shrimp started to turn pink. I poured in a half cup of white wine, then I added the leftover (already peeled) crawfish and tossed everything in the pan until the shrimp were cooked through. By the way, a great way to tell if shrimp are done, other than the color of course, is whether or not the tails are curved in on themselves. At the very end, I added some chopped fresh basil from the garden, and that’s what I did with my leftover crawfish! The seasoning that infused the crawdads from the boil gave the dish a little spicy heat, and the fresh tomatoes and basil made it a nice summery dish. You can sometimes find frozen crawfish at a good fish market. These are already cooked, and you can use those for this dish or for any dish for which you would normally use shrimp. Just remember that the crawfish are already cooked, so you just need to heat them through.
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