Coast Cooking

Crawfish boils are more than a meal; they are social events

Nothing says springtime in South Mississippi like boiled crawfish, but it’s sometimes available as early as December.
Nothing says springtime in South Mississippi like boiled crawfish, but it’s sometimes available as early as December. Special to the Sun Herald

I love a crawfish boil, because it is more of a social event than just a recipe.

Friends gathered around a newspaper-covered picnic table, spicy crawfish, corn, boiled potatoes, sausage and lots of cold beer.

Here a few suggestions to make your crawfish boil stand out.

Do not use a commercial crawfish boil. The idea of quick-cooking seafood in a seasoned stock is French, and is called court bouillon (coo-be-on).

The broth can be nothing more than water, wine and fresh herbs, but feel free to add lemons, hot peppers or any seasoning you like — lemongrass, cinnamon sticks, black pepper corns — but use them sparingly.

Here’s one last suggestion. Make a dipping sauce out of mayonnaise and hot sauce. Consider using Valentina Hot Sauce, or even Tiger Sauce. Add a little lemon if you like, and it will be even better.

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