When one of my weekly client's girlfriend asked me if I could do a crawfish boil for his upcoming birthday bash, I jumped at the chance to bring this Louisiana dish to the Boston area. All I needed was a powerful outdoor propane burner, a pot with a strainer basket larger than my lobster pots, and of course I would need live crawfish.
The Lousiana Crawfish Company and Farm ships live crawfish just about anywhere overnight. While I was ordering the 80 lbs of crawling mudbugs, I went ahead and ordered their andouille sausage, seafood boil seasoning, and I might as well get some alligator sausage as an appetizer to add a little extra to the traditional grilled items we were also planning on cooking.
The crawfish arrived at my client's house the morning of the party. They come in netted bags inside big coolers. 80 lbs looked like alot and it was, but the birthday boy and many of the guest are big-eating professional athletes.
We prepared the crawfish the straightforward Louisiana way by bringing the seafood boil-seasoned water to a boil, adding the crawfish, boiling about 10 minutes, strainining, putting in a large cooler, adding more seasoning and shaking to distribute extra seasoning, and just let them continue steaming in the cooler. Then add potatoes and andouille sausage to boiling crawfish water. Cook until potatoes are almost cooked through, and add fresh corn on the cob last and cook until done but not over cooked. Add the cooked vegetables and sausage to the crawfish. We served this on a newspaper-covered table on the deck for a community feast. I and others who've eatened crawfish did a lot of demonstrating on the proper way to eat them – it is like the saying that you may have heard: Pinch tail, suck head and that's is just what you do, and of course suck out that tail meat. This is fun party food, just dig in, get a little messy and best to be eaten outside.
This was a rolling party with people coming and going through out the day and night. We cooked up many batches, keeping the table freshly stocked. People were loving it. A great addition the the crawfish were kegs of homemade beer. Perfect! Next time, I'll be ordering extra alligator sausage. I was surprised to find that just about everyone was willing to try it and most loved it.
If you want to have your own crawfish party let me know. Crawfish have thier seasons and we can discusss the best time to plan your boil.
If you're not sure about going the whole live crawfish route, try some of the other dishes I do using just the prepared tail meat, crawfish, shrimp and andouille sausage gumbo and crawfish and grits, a twist on southern shrimp and grits.