By Quentin Washispack
Born in south Louisiana in a town known for Tabasco sauce – New Iberia – I have a strong Cajun heritage.
My family lived there until I was 10, when we moved to Baton Rouge. My father spoke Cajun French and learned to speak English in first grade.
I can remember growing up in New Iberia and eating boiled crawfish in the spring.
On the day before Easter this year, my family hosted a crawfish boil in our backyard in Conway with 18 friends. We purchased two sacks (70 lbs.) of crawfish from Lonnie’s Meat Market in Conway and used the recipe that was passed on to me from my father.
1 sack (30-35 lbs) of crawfish
3 gallons of water in large pot
3 boxes of salt
3 cans/bottles (16 oz.) red pepper
4 bottles hot sauce (the cheapest)
6 lemons (cut in quarters) or 2 bottles of lemon juice
6 pods of garlic or 3 bottles of garlic powder/juice/minced (garlic is good to eat after boiled)
In lieu of the above, you could buy crab/crawfish boil and use as directed on the package.
You can boil potatoes, sausage and large onions in the above water mixture; but not the corn. Boil potatoes and sausage until potatoes slip off a fork.
To cook corn, bring water (season water to taste) to a boil add corn bring back to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Place boiled potatoes, sausage and corn in an ice chest (these items will continue to cook ).
Bring the seasoned water with the other ingredients to a boil. Pour crawfish in boiling water. Bring water back to a boil, cook for 8 minutes. Stir crawfish in water with large spoon/paddle so the crawfish on the bottom don’t cook too much. Turn off heat and/or remove pot from heat – let soak for 5 minutes.
Place boiled crawfish in an ice chest until ready to serve (crawfish will continue to cook).
For the second pot of crawfish, you should add half the above ingredients in the water. Bring to a boil and cook as listed.
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1. Don’t overcook crawfish, as they will become hard to peel. You may want to sample several crawfish after 8 minutes of cooking.
2. Optional – mix dry salt and red pepper in bowl/quart jar (or Creole/Cajun Seasoning) – sprinkle over crawfish as you put them in the ice chest. Place a layer of crawfish in the ice chest, sprinkle salt/pepper or Creole/Cajun Seasoning on crawfish; and repeat with another layer. This really adds flavor to the crawfish. Be careful not to over season, because some people don’t eat hot seasoned foods.
3. You can make a sauce to dip your crawfish as you peel and eat. Mix ketchup, hot sauce and horseradish – serve in small cup/bowl. This also adds flavor to the taste of the crawfish.
4. Figure on 1 potato, 1 large onion and 1/4 link of sausage (1 lb. sausage link cut in four pieces) per adult. Kids may not eat as much.