In May I had the pleasure of attending my very first crawfish boil! My friend Katie’s family is originally from New Orleans and when they heard that I had never been to a crawfish boil before, they decided to host one for Katie’s birthday.
They had two giant coolers full of crawfish and invited a full house over for the festivities. What surprised me the most is how dark the crawfish were before they went into the crawfish boil!
They throw an annual crawfish boil so they already had the proper equipment. The crawfish is cooked in a giant (we’re taking 60- to 80-quart) steam and boil basket outdoors that’s filled with mushrooms, peanuts, potatoes, sausage, green beans, corn, and lots of Creole seasonings.
Lifting the giant basket was not a one-person job. The basket conveniently lifts up out of the liquid to pour the contents all over the table. That keeps your liquid in the pot so you can keep on boiling crawfish!
We set up tables outdoors and lined them with newspaper, which is honestly a cute look for a multitude of outdoor entertaining. I love any kind of casual platter entertaining but crawfish boils really take it to the next level: you all sit around a table covered in piles of food and dig in with your bare hands. How fun is that?
The afternoon was so fun and relaxed, as their household always is. It’s the kind of place you just don’t want to leave – the perfect backyard for a crawfish boil!
I baked my Bananas Foster Layer Cake for dessert and boy was it a crowd pleaser! Plus totally theme-appropriate, since bananas foster was first created at Brennan’s in New Orleans. (Read more about New Orleans here.)
Katie’s mom Cheryl is a fantastic cook and made a whole creole feast for us, including incredibly creamy crawfish soup. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me so that I could share it with all of you! She tells me you can find frozen boiled crawfish tails at grocery stores. You could also sub out shrimp. Yum!
Mama Caruso’s Crawfish Soup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 celery spears
1 box organic, low-sodium chicken broth
4 potatoes, diced
1 bag frozen corn kernels, organic
1 cup heavy cream
2 pounds crawfish tails, boiled
- Melt half a stick of butter and throw in half a cup of flour to make a bechemel.
- Add one onion (finely minced), four ribs of chopped celery, and sautee until clear.
- Add one box of chicken broth and whisk to combine. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add four diced potatoes. Cook for about five minutes.
- Add one bag of frozen corn kernels. Simmer on medium until the potatoes are tender. Stir to make sure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom.
- Add one cup of heavy cream to start, adding more if the soup is too thick.
- Season to taste using creole seasoning, liquid crab boil, salt, and pepper. Be very sparing with the crab boil. Start with only one teaspoon.
- About ten minutes before serving, add about two pounds of boiled crawfish tails. You can buy them frozen in the store.
We may not be in the height of crawfish season but I thought this might still inspire some delicious backyard gatherings.
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