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Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to Prepare/Boil Crawdads

I posted yesterday my little adventure in bargain shopping and getting directions via Twitter when I couldn't figure out what to do with the critters I bought to cook. Following is the tale that ensued. You can find the recipe without this little bit of jib-jab at the top on my recipe site here.

Twitter is the answer to all my questions. Well, almost all my questions. I thought surely someone on Twitter who follows me would know how to cook crawdads. That's when I learned people are very particular on what you call crawdads.

"They're called mudbugs!"

"They're crawfish by the way."

Agh sheesh people. Then a fellow North Texan chimed in with: "Well, excuuuuuse me! They're called 'crawdads' here in North Texas."

Thank you sir, I feel much better now being reaffirmed.

So, I followed the directions given by @gonendunit on how to cook the crawdads and they turned out spectacular. I then drew inspiration from a recipe found online to make what is called "Crawfish Monica" which I will promptly be renaming "Crawdad Monica" or "Crawdad Screwed Up Texan." However, since preparing crawdads are a little involved I am breaking the recipe into two parts: 1.) How to Prepare the Crawdads, and 2.) Crawdad Monica.

How to Prepare Crawdads

First, if your crawdads are alive like mine were, you will need to purge them. I've heard this term in the past, but it wasn't until a certain Twitter direct message that I learned what exactly purging means. Basically, you put the crawdads into a large bowl or bucket filled with water.

Then you add an ample amount of salt to the water and crawdads.

And then the crawdads basically puke and excrete. That is what purging means.

Grossed out yet? If not, then take the crawdads outside and rinse them off after you've purged them. You need to make sure you get all the dirt and sand off of them. You can do this without touching them by using a waterhose. Discard any dead crawdads.

Next, bring a large pot of water to a hard, rolling boil. Add your Cajun/Creole seasonings. If you cant do it yourself, like me, have someone else pour the live crawdads all at once into the pot of boiling water. Cover.

Can you tell my son is happy to be cooking crawdads? I think he is going to kill me for this photograph when he gets older.

Boil exactly seven minutes. Then take out and place on ice for exactly five minutes. Times need to be exact "or the meat won't pop out of tail when you pinch bottom of tail."

Recipe for Crawdad Monica coming soon. I used two pounds of uncooked crawdads.


Mindee@oufrontdoor said...

I call them crawfish, but whatever they are, they are delicious. I don't think I could prepare them myself though. You're tougher than I am!

Judith Shakespeare said...

As a southern Louisiana girl, I call them "crawfish", of course...:) And I do just a few things different such as a MUCH bigger pot, throwing in some corn and red potatoes, and skipping the whole sticking 'em over ice bit.

Nothing says home to me like a picnic table covered in newspaper, topped with 20lbs of hot crawfish and cold beer.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Mindee, let's just say my oldest was extremeley sad when he found out we put his "hermit crab" in the pot to boil.

Judith, Funny thing is that I have never heard them called Crawfish until two years ago when I saw them at a store being called such. I think it may be a regional thing here in North Texas. BTW, a picnic with you sounds like fun!

Missy said...

OMG up here in South Dakota we use those nasty things as fish bait. You ATE them??? How'd they taste? LOL

Chef E said...

Now they are 'Crawdead' :) I have heard them called everything, but as I said as kids my brother and I used string and bacon in the streams to catch them, but my mom would say you needed at least a half dozen or more to even make a meal, and I refused to watch her 'purge' them. Then my Louisiana grandfather would suck the heads...ewwwwww

I love this post you 'Crawmomma Texan', lol

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