Crayfish? Crawfish? Crawdads? Mudbugs? They’ve Got Many Names, Sure. But You Only Need To Learn This One Way Of Preparing Them.
Well, it’s officially crayfish season. Yup, that’s right: It’s that time of the year when party-goers and food lovers get together to boil up and peel the shells off those tasty little Cajun delights, guzzle them down and eat to their hearts’ content.
March through June is the time when people tend to to go biggest with crayfish, mostly since the critters themselves are bigger during this stretch. Specifically, they’re fatter during this season, and beyond that meaning that there’s more for you to consume, it also makes them easier for peeling.
And that’s about as perfect an excuse as there is for you to throw an outdoor crayfish boil, wouldn’t you say? We would — especially since you only need a few things to pull this off. Like what? Well, just a big pot, a way to heat it, some water, a little seasoning, a couple husks of corn, a sack of potatoes, a few cooked sausages, butter, some of the lively crustaceans themselves, a whole bunch of beer and as many friends as you want to invite. (The beer and friends are not optional.)
If you’re truly down to party and ready to test your Cajun culinary skills, more detailed instructions follow.
- Crayfish — four pounds per person is typical — to be kept in the bag, alive, for no more than two days prior to cooking.
- Seasoning, which is to say any combination of Zatarain’s, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, crayfish boil spice, shrimp boil bags or whatever else you can think of.
- Corn on the cob.
- Fully cooked sausage links.
- Bring a covered pot of water and seasonings to a hard rolling boil.
- While your water is beginning to boil, place crayfish into a bucket full of cold salt water. This will purge their system. (Yes, that means they throw up.)
- Once that is done, add your crayfish to the boiling seasoned water.
- Boil for 10 to 20 minutes. Crayfish are ready when they are bright red.
- Remove from boiling water and put straight into an ice chest, sans ice. This will keep them piping hot for up to three hours.
- Serve with melted butter for dipping, cooked and seasoned corn on the cob, potatoes and some sausage.
Now if you are wondering how to eat a crayfish? Don’t worry: it’s fairly simple. There are just two rules: Pinch the tail and suck the head. Anyone who tells you anything beyond that is trying too hard.