Dave’s Cajun seafood boil: Part 2

March 12, 2012 § 4 Comments

Dave loves making his Cajun seafood boil, but when he makes it, he worries that there won’t be enough food.  I think 5 pounds of shrimp, 6 blue crabs, 10 pounds of crawfish, 16 small red potatoes, and 5 ears of corn is quite enough food for 4 people.  Dave, though…he worries.  He assigned me to make a salad, just in case there’s not enough food.  Because there’s probably not going to be enough to eat.  People will walk away feeling a little peckish, and thinking that they just didn’t get enough to eat.  Let me stop right here, and tell you that no one ever has left our house hungry.  We both have a tendency to cook more than enough, and we each do worry that our guests will go hungry.  It’s an irrational fear, yes.

So, for the rest of this posting, you can assume that the quantities we indicate will actually feed 8 people, and not the 4 people who greedily consumed this rather extravagant feast (and then walked away with plenty of leftovers).  If you decide to make this for just 4, then please realize you’ll have plenty leftover for making shrimp cocktail, gumbo, or whatever else your little heart desires.  And remember that you can always ring up a few more of your friends and invite them over to help you eat, because this feast serves EIGHT.

If you don’t have an extremely large pot and an outside cooker, you’ll have to use 1-2 very large dutch ovens on top of your stove, and you’ll have to cook everything in stages, while holding the already cooked items in a roaster pan in a warm oven.  I have done this (in an apartment), and it works out fine, so please don’t let small quarters define your ability to invite people over and have an extravagant seafood boil.

Dave’s Cajun seafood boil (serves 6-8 perfectly, or 4 rather greedily)

Water, and one extremely large (32-quart) pot with a strainer

1 package dry crawfish-shrimp-crab boil seasoning (about 2 cups)

1 cup liquid crawfish-shrimp-crab-boil seasoning

1 large yellow onion, peeled, and cut into 8 pieces

1/2 cup chopped garlic

1 lemon sliced

1/2 cup vinegar

16 small red potatoes (2 per person)

5 ears corn on the cob, each ear split into 2-3 pieces

6-8 live blue crabs (1 per person)

5 pounds raw unpeeled jumbo shrimp (9 shrimp per pound)

10 pounds live crawfish (about 2 pounds per person)

Cocktail sauce *

1-2 sticks melted butter, divided

You’ll need a 32 quart cooking pot with a strainer.  Fill the pot about 2/3-full of water.  Add the dry and liquid seasonings, onion, garlic, lemon, and vinegar.  Bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes, and cook for 20 minutes.  Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the crab, and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp and then turn off the heat.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes in the seasoning water.  Pull the straining pan from the liquid.  Dump the contents into a large roasting pan, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Return the strainer to the cooking pot and bring the liquid to a boil (add extra water if the level has dropped too low). Add crawfish to the strainer, and cook until they are red, about 5-10 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and let them sit about 10 minutes.

Pull the straining pan from the liquid, and dump the crawfish into a second large roasting pan.

Pour the melted butter into individual bowls (1 for each person).  Serve the boil in the roaster pans, or dump onto a newspaper-covered table (preferably outdoors).  Sprinkle on extra seasoning, if desired (Dave likes to use Tony Cachere’s seasoning).  Use crab-crackers and picks to get the meat from the shells.

For dessert (as if there wasn’t enough to eat), we served this Guinness Stout Cake, and it was so delicious.  We didn’t even bother to use a glaze or frosting, and opted for simple whipped cream.

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§ 4 Responses to Dave’s Cajun seafood boil: Part 2

  • pusspudding says:

    Lovely photo … and what a feast. Crayfish … wonderful and crab. Wouldn’t mind the recipe on that cake .. sorry, I see it’s a link. Very excitng. Thank you for the journey. Will come back to crayfish.

    • Libby says:

      The Guinness Cake was so delicious, and not too sweet, nor did it taste much like beer. It was excellent (the blogger who posted it has many fine recipes).

  • df says:

    Holy cow what a lot of food and it all looks amazing! I’ve simply never cooked with seafood on this kind of scale, but the results look worth it. Must check out the Guinness cake too…

    • Libby says:

      Yes, it’s definitely a lot of food, but the elftovers are terrific for making seafood gumbo, shrimp cocktail, and crawfish etouffee.

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