Cajun Style Crawfish Boil
A good crawfish boil is one of my favorite summer traditions. When I heard that buddy Steven Jagoda was getting ready to host a boil, I asked him to document the process he uses.
He likes to do his boils on an outdoor burner in a stockpot of at least 40 quarts with a basket that just fits inside, along with a tight-fitting lid.
The correct way to eat a crawfish? Hold the head with one hand, the tail with the other. Give the tail a twist to remove it from the body. Suck the head (don't argue, just do it, the head is the best part). Peel the tail and eat it as is or dip it into the Cajun dipping sauce.
5-7 pounds (or more) of live crawfish per person
6 gallons of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt
3 yellow onions halved.
8 jalapeno peppers sliced about 1/2 inch thick with the seeds
6 lemons halved and squeezed into the water
2 new red potatoes per person.
1 1/2 ears of corn halved per person.
+ -1.5 lbs of powdered crawfish boil spice (recipe to follow)
Jagoda Crawfish Boil Spice Recipe
8 Tbls black peppercorns ground
4 Tbls coriander seeds ground
1/2 cup kosher salt
8 Tbls cayenne pepper
5 Tbls granulated garlic
3/4 cup paprika
4 Tbls onion powder
4 Tbls dried thyme
4 Tbls dried rosemary
8 crumbled bay leaves
Cajun Dipping Sauce
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup ketchup
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce (or your favorite)
4 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of salt and black pepper
Dash of Cajun seasoning, if desired
Add water to the pot and toss in the salt, spice mix, onions, peppers and lemons. Give everything a good stir and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, stir and let them simmer for 20 minutes. Next, add the corn and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, add the crawfish, give everything a good stir and turn the heat off. Cover the pot with a lid and let everything sit for an additional 15 minutes while the crawfish soak up the seasoning.
After the 15 minutes soak, don a pair of work gloves and slowly lift the inner basket, allowing the liquid to slowly drain back into the pot. Once most of the cooking liquid has drained off, dump the basket on the paper-lined picnic table. Jagoda says that additional batches should be cooked in the same liquid as the first batch, and that each pot will taste better than the last.