It’s officially summer in New York City. The spring showers of the last few weeks have cleared away and in their place is a hot, muggy heat. What better way to bring in the summer months than with a proper New Orleans-style crawfish boil? This weekend we did just that, toasting my sister Melanie’s 26th birthday and celebrating Memorial Day in stride.
The crawfish came straight from Louisiana, along with some seafood boil mix, and a few Mardi Gras beads thrown in for good measure. Crawfish cooking is certainly an outdoor affair (that pot gets hot!) and goes hand-in-hand with a nice, cold beer. Be forewarned that it is a ton of work. Thanks to the culinary talents of her boyfriend, and a crew of friends willing to eat all day, my sister’s crawfish party went off without a hitch. Even the abrupt rain storm that fell mid-day couldn’t shake this lot, and the whopping 75 pounds of crawfish disappeared at the end of the evening.
Crawfish boils may not be the quintessential backyard feast in New York that they are along the Gulf Coast, but they’re a great way to celebrate any special occasion. Or the perfect excuse to enjoy good food and friends in the summertime. Cheers to a great summer and your next crawfish boil!
20 pounds live crawfish
1 package seafood boil mix
10 lemons, halves
3 pounds small red potatoes
10 ears fresh corn, halved
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 pounds Andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
Fill a 40-quart pot, lined with a wire basket, with water and the seasoning mix and bring to a boil.
Rinse the crawfish thoroughly in the bag they arrive in, removing dirt and mud. Transfer small batches to a colander or bowl, and rinse under cool running water. Pick out any debris or dead crawfish.
Once the seasoned water comes a boil, add the lemons, potatoes, corn, garlic, and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and tender.
Add the crawfish and bring back to a boil. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove wire basket from pot, drain well, and serve immediately.