If you don't mind a lot of slurping going on as guests chow down on crawfish, consider a crawfish boil for your next get together. Plan on 4 lbs. of crawfish per guest. That may sound like a lot but there's only about 1 oz. of meat in each crawfish. Accompany the boil with traditional side dishes and foods. Most of the time, the vegetables and sausage are boiled with the crawfish. If you don't have room for all those pots, cook the food separately.
Corn on the cob is a requisite accompaniment for crawfish. If you like spicy food, and you'd have to for a crawfish boil, boil the corn in a pot with spiced water. Add 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes, the juice and rind of two lemons, and a handful of fresh parsley for every 1/2 gallon of water. The corn takes on the spicy flavors. If you don't have room to boil the corn and the crawfish, grill the corn instead. When it's finished, brush with a mixture of lime juice, cayenne pepper and butter.
Small red potatoes slathered in butter offset some of the heat from the crayfish. Bake them until they're crispy. If you prefer to grill, thread the potatoes on a metal skewer. The skewer conducts heat through the potatoes so they cook faster.
Onions and Garlic
Not everybody adds onions to their crawfish boil. Peel small onions and leave whole. If you cut large onions in half or quarters so they'll be done at the same time as the potatoes, the onions have a tendency to come apart. Whole garlic heads add flavor to the food as it boils. Remove as much of the papery covering as you can. Slice off the top of the garlic. When serving, squeeze out the individual cloves of garlic and mash with butter to serve with the potatoes or on crusty bread.
As if the spicy crawfish weren't enough, hot or smoked sausage such as Andouille is boiled and served along with the crawfish.
If the crawfish were boiled in plain water, they would be boiled crawfish but not a crawfish boil. Seasonings to add to the water include bay leaf, fresh parsley, thyme and oregano, lemons, black pepper, red cayenne pepper and hot sauce. The boiling liquid is not meant to be consumed so it is highly spiced to flavor the crawfish and the vegetables.
Ice cold watermelon washes away some of the heat from the crawfish boil. Serve wedges of the melon kept on ice. While not traditional, other melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew are thirst quenching and bring down the heat as well.
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