I can’t resist live crawfish when it’s in season. The sweet body meat, the even yummier headfat, the communal eating experience of a crawfish boil… so good!
Crusty bread is a must to sop up all the delicious sauce.
I call this a boil, but I actually do something closer to steaming – helps everything retain more flavor instead of getting diluted by a bunch of water.
If you’re using live crawfish, you’ll want to give them a few good soaks and rinses in fresh water to remove the internal and external debris. See Step 1 for instructions.
- For the sauce:
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons cayenne, depending on how hot you want it
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- For the boil:
- 2.5 lbs crawfish (live is best if you can get it)
- 4 ears corn, cut into thirds or fourths
- 1 (roughly 13 oz.) link smoked sausage (or Andouille, if you like) cut into 1/4" think coins
IF USING LIVE CRAWFISH: Soak the crawfish in fresh water, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and repeat until the water stays clear after 10 minutes of soaking. This usually takes me 4 or 5 times.
While you’re doing that, get started on the sauce.
FOR THE SAUCE: In a large pot or saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sweat the garlic until it begins to turn translucent. Stir in herb and spice mixture and let it bloom. Watch that the heat doesn’t get so hot that the garlic burns. If you see some pieces turning brown, you need to take the vessel off the heat for a bit and turn the heat down.
Add hot sauce & lemon juice and stir to combine then taste sauce and adjust seasoning if needed. When it’s good, turn off the heat.
In a separate pot, put 1 cup water and 1.5 teaspoons salt along with crawfish, corn, and sausage, in that order. This generates salted steam from the bottom, which seasons the crawfish meat but doesn’t dilute the flavor as much as boiling.
Cover, turn the heat on to medium high, and steam *just* until all the crawfish turn that brighter opaque red that lets you know they’re perfectly cooked through. Don’t want to cook shellfish too long because it gets rubbery if you do.
The steaming process should take about 20 minutes or so, and you’ll want to give the mixture 3 or 4 stirs during the process to redistribute everything and make sure they all get cooked and seasoned by the salt.
(I had a busy day in the kitchen yesterday and only had this one large saucepan left so I had to do the crawfish and then corn and sausage in two separate batches, but you don’t have to. 😉 )
When crawfish are properly steamed, turn the heat back on the sauce (medium high) and add the crawfish, corn, and sausage AND 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the steaming liquid. Give everything a few good stirs and folds to make sure it’s all sauced.
Gather your fellow mudbug munchers and serve with crusty bread for dipping into that yummy sauce.
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