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For the Love of Food – Crawfish Boil!

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http://www.pdxscene.com/magazine/2019August/index.html

EllieLove by Ellie Love

Oh the crazy months of summer! We hop right from a busy June to a busy July! We started the month with some big plans! 

For the 4th of July we started our big project of the month. We tripled the size of our patio! We had some friends over to help; they have kids with strong backs! And the fellas started the excavation process. I spent a good part of the day working on food to feed everyone… the least we could do with all the help they gave us. They toiled away until early evening moving dirt like crazy. Then we all sat around and ate bbq hamburgers and had a few adult beverages. And when the sun finally settled low in the sky the kiddos set off their fireworks.

The plan was it would be done by Sunday and to celebrate the new patio space we would have crawfish boil. But, of course in true home improvement fashion the project did not go as planned. The patio did not actually get finished until the following Thursday. But it is glorious and well worth the extra time that it took! Now it was time for that crawfish boil!

This crawfish boil is something that all of us in the Love Tribe have been wanting to do for about a year now. And we felt like the completion of the patio was the perfect excuse to finally do it! 

We wanted to do this with live crawfish… but where do you find them? I had never seen live crawfish at a grocery store or market before. So I reached out to a friend of ours that is in the know and he directed me to a couple of different seafood markets that carried them — one in Vancouver and two in Portland. Since we were going to boil them live we wanted to get them the same day and only one of the three had them available on the day of our boil. I called around the day before to reserve some. You can keep them live for about 2-3 days but we did not want to deal with them and all that goes into keeping them alive for that long. 

The next thing I needed was a propane burner and a really, really, REALLY big pot. In steps another friend! He had two propane burners and one really, really big pot. His pot was designed for deep frying a turkey. So large, but tall and slender. Ideally you want a wider pot, but as it turns out those are incredibly expensive for a one time event. So we went with what was available. It worked and in the end that is all that matters! 

Having never done a crawfish boil before I had no idea how many I needed. So I did a little research and everything I could find said if it was the main dish then you should figure 3-5 lbs per person. Well there are four of us, so I got 15lbs. Weeeelllll… As it turns out, that is a LOT of crawfish!

There are as many ways to put together a boil as there are people on this planet. But this is what we put in ours.

  • 4-5oz bags of crawfish boil seasoning
  • 6 ears of corn on the cob, cut into thirds
  • 2lbs baby red potatoes
  • 2 packages of andouille sausage
  • 2lbs large shrimp
  • 15lbs of crawfish
  • 2 cups melted butter

Fill the pots up with water. Bring the water to a boil and add the seasoning packets, potatoes and corn on the cob. Boil for 10 minutes. Add the crawfish, boil for 3 minutes. Add shrimp and andouille sausage, boil for about 3 more minutes. Turn off heat and let set 5-20 minutes. The longer it sets the spicier it will be. Pour it out on a table covered in paper. Serve with melted butter for pouring over and dipping.

So, as I said earlier 15lbs of crawfish is a lot. So we ended up having to cook all of this in a couple of batches as it would not all fit into the two pots I had originally planned to split up into. And honestly for the four of us I could have easily left everything else the same and taken the crawfish down to about 7lbs and still had plenty for us. While the original plan was just the four of us we ended up having 3 other people join us and still had enough to fill a 2 ½ gallon ziplock bag to give to my coworker who loves crawfish!


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