Sunshine and warmer temperatures bring one of this Southern region’s most delicious critters to the table: crawfish. From the Louisiana waters to my kitchen. My outdoor kitchen, to be precise: it’s where we let the pot of hot spicy “boil”. I learned the technique from a good friend. New Orleans born and raised, this is how he cooks all his shrimp or crawfish: he boils a large pot with a spicy, flavorful stock to which he adds small red-skin potatoes, chunks of smoked and spicy sausage, whole heads of garlic, mushrooms, and lastly, the shrimp or crawfish.
I’ve seen him do it many times, and thought it a great idea to try it out myself. I followed all the steps, including dunking a bag of ice to the hot boiling critters to stop the cooking. Also per instructions, I let them sit in the tasty stock for about 40 minutes to soak up all those flavors.
The one thing I had not reckoned with: live crawfish scared the daylights out of me, scratching and clawing their way out of the sack in the back of my car. It didn’t get any better watching them hiss and raise their claws at me in the kitchen sink. The likeness to scorpions sent shivers down my spine.
Once boiled, they tasted amazing. Still, I’ll go to one of the crawfish places around Houston next time, where I don’t have to deal with the feisty little critters myself.