If you're from the South or you have visited about the time
of Mardi Gras, you know how enticing those little mudbugs
can be. The origins of the crawfish may be a little unclear,
but their taste and their popularity certainly are not.
up your life with the following crawfish tidbits.
of unknown origins states that the crawfish has only been
around since 1775. It seems that when the French lived in
Acadie, Nova Scotia, they were expelled from their region
and traveled by land and sea across North America and arrived
in south Louisiana. They were welcomed by the French already
living there and were given land by the Spanish. The Acadies
from Nova Scotia really liked their lobster. So, when they
made their move, they brought their lobsters with them.
funny thing happened on the way to Louisiana. The crawfish
lost their appetite along the way and shrunk quite a bit.
Since the smaller lobster didn't look like a lobster anymore,
the Acadians, now known as Cajuns, called this small crustacean
they came from, thousands of people wait for the season of
crawfish to begin. If you're from the South, you call them
crawfish; if you're from the North, you call them crayfish.
agree the best way to eat them is boiled so the tails can
be pinched. But there are other ways to prepare them. The
tail meat can be removed and incorporated into sauces, soups,
added to rice, sautéed in butter, mixed in with stuffing,
fried for po boys, or just popped in your mouth and enjoyed.
are moderately fatty, so if you count calories, you may need
to pass up the mudbugs. Crawfish are available January through
June, with peak harvest coming just in time for Mardi Gras.
about six pounds of whole crawfish to equal one pound of tail
meat. Just in case you were wondering, crawfish do not freeze
very well. Whole crawfish can be frozen for only four to five
weeks before the fat turns rancid. Crawfish tails can be frozen
after being blanched and washed, but quality is lost during
the freezing process.
you call them crawfish, crayfish or mudbugs
just call them good. Try the following variety of crawfish
recipes to spice up your Mardi Gras season.
tomato paste½ pt. half and half
t. black pepper
crawfish in 4 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes and set
aside. In the remaining butter, saute the onion for 10 minutes.
Then add flour and tomato; paste and blend well. Add half-and-half,
wine, parsley, crawfish, salt and peppers. Continue cooking
for five minutes. Serve over cooked fettuccine noodles. Garnish
with parsley and paprika.
of Crawfish Soup
c. unsalted butter
broth (shrimp or lobster)
crawfish tails, cooked, divided
Old Bay seasoning
of Tabasco to taste
and pepper to taste
c. white wine
onion and celery in butter for 10 minutes over medium heat.
Add flour and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Pour in broth
and cook for 15 minutes. Add crawfish tails and cook for 5
minutes. Season to taste. Add wine and heat through. Serve
hot, garnished with chopped parsley.
fresh crawfish tails, cooked
t. Old Bay seasoning
crawfish tails, mayonnaise, mustard, green onion, garlic,
lime juice and Old Bay seasoning. Serve over shredded Romaine
leaves with avocado slices, tomato wedges and quartered hard-boiled
Pam Lewis is lead instructor of Southern Miss Gulf Coast Culinary Arts
Academy. For information on the Southern MissGC Culinary Arts Academy,
call (228) 214-3240. For recipe/story requests, culinary questions
or comments, e-mail Chef Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org or write
to her at
Pam Lewis, Culinary Arts Academy
of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast
Beach, MS 39560