There is something about Spring that brings out the craving for a crawfish boil. Maybe it is the sunshine mixed with the new onset of warming weather, or maybe it is the thought of sitting around with friends and family while drinking a few cold beers. Either way, Spring is almost here, and I can already smell the Cajun aroma filling the air.
The Native Americans are credited with collecting crawfish for their cuisine before the Acadians (called Cajuns today) arrived. They would bait reeds with wild meat, put them in the water, then pick up the reeds with the crawfish attached to the bait. By fishing this way, the Indians would gather plenty of crawfish to enjoy as a meal. In modern days, nets are used to catch the crawfish to deliver them to shore for consumption.
In Louisiana and South Mississippi, crawfish boils are a spring tradition. Every spring, neighbors, family, and friends gather together to feast on pounds of crawfish. Festivals are held, fishing trips are marked, and backyard parties are made a social event by the small spicy crustaceans. Spring marks the beginning of warm weather, family outings, and of course the gathering of a local crawfish boil.
Here is a 3 step guide to help you create your own Cajun celebration:
1. Prepare the Pot with Spices :
Fill a large pot about 1/3 full with water. Add in some garlic, bay leaves, dry and liquid crab boil seasonings, salt, pepper, oranges, lemons, jalapeno’s, and potatoes. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 25 minutes.
2. Add the Good Stuff :
Add corn on the cob and a few onions ; cook 15 minutes more. Stir in some sausage links; cook 5 minutes more. Add the crawfish, return mixture to boil, then simmer until the crawfish shells turn bright red and the tails pull out easily, about 5 minutes. You can test readiness by peeling a crawfish. Try not to overcook, or crawfish will become tough and difficult to peel.
3. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! :
Drain the pot and serve the crawfish hot, Cajun-style, spread over a picnic table covered with newspapers. Enjoy while drinking your favorite beers and smoking your favorite cigars!