HOW TO COOK CRAYFISH
Are you a Cajun or a Swede? Maybe somewhere in between? No matter which, before cooking your catch of crayfish (or crawfish, speaking Cajun) you have to decide if you want to make them spicy or not.
If you go for the Cajun spicy crayfish, Trapper Arne offers you two sizes of the famous ZATARAIN'S CRAB BOIL.
Small Package of ZATARAIN'S CRAB BOIL, 3 OZ.
This 3 oz. package in a bag contains all the spices a Cajun or Creole crawfish enthusiast can desire:
Mustard seed, coriander seed, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, dill seed and allspice. Sufficient for a 4 lbs crayfish boil. See ZATARAIN'S crawfish recipe below.
Do you want to to order a small package of Zatarain's right now?
Large Package of ZATARAIN'S CRAB BOIL, 16 oz.
For a larger crawfish boil, or several small ones, the 16 oz. ZATARAIN'S CRAB BOIL will give you foolproof cooking results every time. Just pour into boiling water, add the crayfish, and maybe some potatoes and corn, and you're heading for a superb crayfish dinner. See ZATARAIN'S crawfish recipe below.
Do you want to to order a large package of Zatarain's right now?
SOME POPULAR CRAYFISH RECIPES
Being a Swede by birth, no wonder I am biased in favor of how Swedes and Finns cook their crayfish. Below you'll find a very fine recipe. It is also the simplest I have found. You just can't go wrong using this Swedish crayfish recipe. Here it is:
THE SWEDISH/FINNISH CRAYFISH BOIL
30 crayfish 3 qts of water 5 tablespoons of salt dill with seed crowns.(Optional unless
"It is very important that every crayfish be alive before boiling. Wash thoroughly in cold water. Boil water, salt and dill 2-3 minutes, remove dill, then plunge crayfish into water. Cover and after boiling resumes,cook 6-7 minutes. Add more dill, cool in 'pot liquor' and keep in refrigerator before serving. Arrange on platter. Garnish with heads of dill."
That's it! How simple can it get? Note the amount of water in relation to the salt. This relationship is the most important part of a crayfish recipe. This is what makes the crayfish taste so good. Notice also that Swedish and Finnish recipes assume you eat the crayfish cold. But that's up to you. Most Americans eat them warm. However, I have found that crayfish always taste better if they have steeped in the brine for a few days. And that implies that they will be served cold.
If you want to modify the recipe, here's a rule of thumb about water and salt: For each gallon of water, add 1/2 cup of non-iodized salt. How many crayfish you add to the pot is not important as long as the pot doesn't overflow and the crayfish are covered by the water. To be extra fancy you might also consider adding a can of dark beer and maybe a sugar lump or two. (Not recommended by me in this age when we eat too much sugar anyway.)
ZATARAIN'S EASY BOILED CRAWFISH
3 quarts of water 4 lbs of crawfish 4 TBS salt 1 bag of Zatarain's 3 oz Crab Boil 1 lemon, quartered Cayenne pepper to taste
Here is the last of the recipes. The fact that it is rather simple makes me look kindly at it.
4 gallons of water 25 pounds crawfish 12 lemons, cut in half 10 medium onions, cut in half 3 boxes salt 2 cans cayenne pepper 2 boxes crab boil 15 small new potatoes Several ears of corn
"Procedure: Wash crawfish and purge in salt water. In a 10 gallon pot bring about 4 gallons of water to boil with seasonings. Add crawfish and potatoes and corn and bring to a boil quickly. Cook for approximately 12-15 minutes. Turn off heat and let soak for 5 minutes. Remove from water and serve. Servings: 4"
As I haven't personally tasted all of the above recipes (except the Swedish one) I am not the person to rate them. But as I am a person of simplicity, I certainly favor the Swedish/Finnish recipe. The Cajon recipes are just a little too complicated for my nature. Also, they don't seem to care about the relationship between salt and water; a factor that I think is highly important if you want your crayfish to taste good. In other words, I recommend the Swedish recipe!
But to each his own. And, as the old Romans used to say (I've been told) "De Gustibus non est Disputandum". (There is no debating taste.)
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