Crawfish Boil

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Because we live in landlocked Nashville, there are some seafood menus that just seem beyond my cooking creds. Usually It’s because of ingredients that proves difficult to find – not from a lack of desire to at least give any recipe a shot! When my son and his friends missed out on a crawfish boil – it was sold out - I couldn’t stand the idea that it was something we couldn’t recreate at home. Low Country Shrimp Boil, Barbequed Shrimp, Jambalaya, Gumbo – all of those recipes are favorites here, but the only crawfish we regularly see are the ones we call mudbugs that thrive in the creek out front. They are favorites with the neighborhood owls, but probably not the stuff New Orleans legends are made of. Armed with determination and a telephone, it didn’t take long to find that several grocery stores have a supply of frozen crawfish on hand, you just have to ask. Using frozen crawfish is perfectly fine with me. Lobster murdering has already happened here and it didn’t go well. Probably there are a million reasons why using live crawfish is the way to go – but again – here we are in Nashville and the goal was to feed a small crowd not create a large-scale event. Really, it was so easy, not too expensive, and just a lot of fun. 

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The ingredients included lemons, onions, potatoes, corn, smoked sausage, and of course crawfish. The pictures will reveal that a few shrimp also made it to the pot since one skeptic was afraid crawfish might not be to his taste. (Silly person) There are a lot of recipes for making a seasoning packet, and if you wanted to buy all of that stuff and put it together, it would not be impossible, but the nice folks at Zatarains have already done it – so we went with their product. This is probably the easiest meal to make for the excitement factor it generated. In one pot, I sautéed the sausage, then added water and the crawfish boil packet. In went the potatoes, corn, lemon, and onion. The seasoned water still needed a little something, which, for us, was a beer and some added salt. Perfect! When potatoes were just short of fork tender, in went the crawfish. When the water boiled we were ready! 

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Newspaper down – that was how we set the table. Paper napkins – uh – no – paper towels did a much better job. It would have been nice to have moved the whole operation to the screened-in porch, but again we are in Nashville where the April temperature ranges from the 80’s one day to the 30’s the next and we were on the lower range. Still, all in all, it was just one of the most entertaining and delicious dinners we’ve had and one that will happen again many times. By the way, the last photo reveals how easy clean-up is. Newspaper and shells go right to the trash. Done! Enjoy a Crawfish Boil to impress family and friends – you’ll love it!

Crawfish Boil

Ingredients (writing this to serve 4 – easy to up the numbers!)

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1 lb smoked sausage, sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil

New potatoes 5-6 per person

Corn – 1 ear per person

1 onion, quartered

1 lemon, cut in half

Zatarains Crab Boil (or any brand you like)

4 to 6 lb crawfish – depending on how much your crowd will devour

Optional: Beer and extra salt


In a very large pot, sauté sausage in olive oil to lightly brown.

When sausage is browned, add water to the pot to fill it about half-way to the top - add crab boil, potatoes, and beer and salt if desired.

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When the water boils, add corn, onion and lemon. (Add more water if necessary)

Cook until potatoes are just tender – about 10 minutes.

Add crawfish and cook until liquid is at a rolling boil.

Remove from heat, drain, serve in a large bowl.


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