This boil was the 22 lbs from the 32 lb sack where we boiled 10 lbs yesterday, Saturday, as entered here. Enjoyed all on the patio and everyone said nice things about the crawfish. The spice level in the meat was good and it had a complex flavor. Certainly, a recipe and process to try again as these were my best crawfish to date.
After a week of studing last years cook and other sites and developing a long web page here with the plans I came across VictorJD’s page at http://howtoboilcrawfish.com/. This cook was largely inspired by that page and the Do’s and Don’ts of boiling crawfish by Chris Freret, Owner of Geaux Creole Seasonings and winner of multiple crawfish cooking contests.
- Purged the crawfish by covering with water then pouring off the muddy water then repeating twice. Once the water in the container was fully over the crawfish let it sit for a minute and a few dead ones floated it up. Discarded them. The third time the water was clear and only a little sediment ran out with the final dribble.
- Prep’ed the pot for boiling 2 batches of about 11-12 lbs of crawfish each with:
- 13 quarts of water (extra quart due to the veggies) with
- 1.5 lb of standard cajun boil
- 1T cayenne
- 1/3 C ground celery
- 1 cup of Zatarain’s concentrated crab boil only in the second boil as forgot about it in the first
- 1/4 cup table salt only in the first boil
- 1/2 of the veggies (as we will do two boils) that included half of the following in each boil:
- 8 small red potatoes;
- 4 onions cut in half,
- 2 garlic cloves; and
- 6 lemons.
- Fresh corn on the cob was saved to add at the end of the boil before the soak and with the ice.
- Sausage to add with the corn in the 2nd boil – About 8″ each of Jalapeno and Green Onion from Bertran’s in West Baton Rouge.
- When it reached a rolling boil–with the lid on–added the crawfish.
- With the lid on it heated back up and at about 4 minutes for the first boil and 2 minutes for the second, the small bubbles appeared.
- Lowered the heat to maintain the bubbling for 4 minutes.
- Turn off the fire and add the room temperature corn and smoked sausage. Left the lid off. Then added the frozen water bottles in the first boil and ice cubes from the refer in the second.
- Tasted at both boils at 15, 20, and 25 minutes of soaking. By the 25-minute taste, there was no difference.
- Dumped all in the small cube. Shook on a little more of the same cajun seasoning-without the extra cayenne–and stirred to mix then let steam in the closed chest.
- Second Boil – Add the other half of the veggies, add one pound of cajun seasoning and 1C crab boil concentrate. Then return to a rolling boil. Repeat steps 3 through 8.
* Ratios — The key is the 1 qt. water per lb of crawfish to set the dilution ratio with an allowance of 1 additional quart for the veggies. Then, 1.5 lb of seasoning per 10 lbs of crawfish in 10 qts of water.
Results: Both boils produced good crawfish although the potatoes were only almost done. Corned was great even though it never was in the boiling water but was not infused with species — maybe that was ok so if every item was spicy that may have been too much. The crawfish meat was firm, shelled well and had a full flavor with a little slight heat from the peppers. Salt content was fine as no one said it was not salty enough or too salty. Put the crab boil concentrate only in the second boil and did not notice it at all.
This was a good cooking method with the veggies being cooked along with the crawfish. The sausage only warmed up in the cooling down phase of the second boil worked well as they were warm and not cooked tough.