First off, what is crawfish?
Crawfish, sometimes also called crayfish, is a relative of the lobster which accounts for its close resemblance to it in terms of physical appearance.
It is a type of freshwater crustacean and can be found in most parts of the globe, from North America to Australia, Europe to Africa.
It is one of the most popular fares in the world and there are even festivals held in certain parts of the world to celebrate crawfish. Louisiana in the United States for example, celebrates the Crawfish Festival annually and has been doing so since 1975.
Louisiana incidentally, is the largest producer of crawfish in the United States; accounting for ninety-eight percent of the crawfish supply in the country.
How to Cook Crawfish
Keep It Fresh
As for the matter of cooking crawfish, before you cook it, you of course need to purchase it from your local market. You need to get it fresh and if possible, alive, so you can get the most out of its natural flavors.
To keep your crawfish fresh, keep them in a cool place and away from the heat of the sun. You can place them inside a cooler with a pack of ice until you are ready to cook them the following day.
It is important that you punch a hole on the cooler or open the drain hole so water from the melted ice won’t accumulate inside. Failure to do so may kill your live crawfish and spoil their freshness.
Most of the time, the preferred choice of cooking crawfish is simply boiling it. It’s quick and easy to do and you’re sure to enjoy it just as much – maybe even more – as other crawfish recipes. The operative word here after all, is crawfish – and not the recipe.
Prepare the crawfish by hosing it down with water to get the grime off and then soak them in a tubful of water treated with table salt. Let them sit in the salted water for about half an hour before cooking.
Boil water in a large pot – just enough water to cover the crawfish. You can put in whatever herbs and seasonings you want for flavor. When the water comes to a boil, drop your crawfish inside the pot and then let it boil again for about five minutes.
Turn heat off and let the crawfish sit in the pot for about fifteen minutes just so it can soak all the flavors in. Serve hot.
Delectable Crawfish Recipes
Of course, if you are so used to having boiled crawfish or you want to impress guests with a scrumptious crawfish dish, there are many other ways of cooking crawfish.
Étouffée is the most popular type of crawfish dish served in the United States and in other parts of the world. It is a kind of rice dish topped with crawfish. It is relatively easy to cook and will make for an impressive crawfish dish to serve your guests.
What You’ll Need:
One stick of butter
Two cups of onions, chopped
One cup of celery, chopped
One-half cup of green bell peppers, chopped
One lbs. of crawfish tails, peeled
Two tsp. garlic, minced
Two bay leaves
One tbsp. flour
One cup water
One tsp. salt
About a pinch of cayenne
Two tbsp. parsley, chopped
Three tbsp. spring onions, chopped
Heat the pan over medium high. When it is hot enough, melt your stick of butter. Put in your green bell peppers, onions and celery and stir to mix with the butter. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring constantly to avoid the butter from burning.
Put in the crawfish, bay leaves and garlic. Put heat on medium and stir all ingredients occasionally. Cook for another ten minutes. Put in flour and dissolve in the mixture. Sprinkle the cayenne and season with salt according to your taste.
Stir occasionally until you get a thick consistency and then add the spring onions and parsley. Cook for another two minutes. Turn off heat and then put a generous amount on top of cooked rice before serving.
This recipe takes about forty minutes to complete including prep time.
What You’ll Need
One-fourth cup of butter for onions
One-half cup of butter for crawfish
One-half spring onions, chopped
Two lbs. of crawfish
Two cans of condensed cream of potato soup, get the 10.75-oz. cans
One can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, 10.75-oz. can
One can corn kernels, get the 15.25-oz. can; drain
Four oz. cream cheese
Two cups of half-and-half cream
One-half tsp. cayenne pepper
Sautee spring onions in a sauce pan with melted one-fourth cup of butter. Take out onions and butter from the pan and then melt the other one-half cup of butter in the same pan. Put in crawfish and cook for about five minutes.
In a separate pot, stir in potato soup, cream of mushroom, corn kernels and softened cream cheese. Over medium heat, bring ingredients to a boil.
Add the half-and-half cream, sautéed spring onions, crawfish and cayenne pepper. Season with salt according to taste and then bring mixture to a boil. Simmer for about five minutes and then serve.