23 may. 2011

Cajun crawfish boil


RECIPES – Cajun crawfish boil
Cajuns (in French: les Cadiens or les Acadiens) are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles (French-speakers from Acadia in what are now the Canadian Maritimes). Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population, and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture.
While Lower Louisiana had been settled by French colonists since the late 18th century, the Cajuns trace their roots to the influx of Acadian settlers after the Great Expulsion from their homeland during the French and Indian War (1754 to 1763). The Acadia region to which modern Cajuns trace their origin consisted largely of what are now Nova Scotia and the other Maritime provinces, plus parts of eastern Quebec and northern Maine. Since their establishment in Louisiana the Cajuns have developed their own dialect, Cajun French, and developed a vibrant culture including folk ways, music, and cuisine.
The crawfish boil is a celebratory event where Cajuns boil crawfish, potatoes, onions and corn over large propane cookers. Lemons and small muslin bags containing a mixture of bay leaves, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper and other spices, commonly known as "crab boil" or "crawfish boil" are added to the water for seasoning. The results are then dumped onto large, newspaper-draped tables and in some areas covered in spice blends. Also, Cocktail sauce, mayonnaise and hot sauce sometimes used. The seafood is scooped onto large trays or plates and eaten by hand.
Attendees are encouraged to "suck the head" of a crawfish by separating the abdomen of the crustacean and sucking out the abdominal fat/juices.


Ingredients:
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages dry crab boil
  • 1 tablespoon liquid shrimp and crab boil seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large oranges, halved
  • 3 large lemons, halved
  • 2 large whole artichokes
  • 15 red potatoes, washed
  • 30 pieces baby corn
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 (16 ounce) packages mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 (16 ounce) packages smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 pounds live crawfish, rinsed
How to prepare it:
Fit a large (5 gallon) pot with a strainer insert, and fill half full with water.
Add the garlic, bay leaves, dry and liquid crab boil seasonings, salt, pepper, oranges, lemons, artichokes, and potatoes.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.
Stir in the corn, onions, mushrooms, and green beans; cook 15 minutes more.
Stir in the sausage; cook 5 minutes more.
Add the crawfish, return mixture to boil, then simmer until the crawfish shells turn bright red and the tails pull out easily, about 5 minutes.
Test for doneness by peeling a crawfish.
Be sure not to overcook, or crawfish will become tough.
Remove strainer basket from the pot and drain.
Serve crawfish hot, Louisiana-style, spread over a picnic table covered with newspapers.

© Text and image: Allrecipes.com, wikipedia

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