Come rest upon my bun, crawfish.
On Memorial Day (I'm reluctant to admit that date, because it tells you how far behind I am in posting), I flew home just in time to attend a crawfish boil at FoodMayhem headquarters. The mudbugs were courtesy of TVD—she had flown in from Louisiana the night before, carrying about twenty-five pounds of her dad's seasoned, cooked, and frozen crawfish with her.
They're beautiful, aren't they? All that had to be done was reheat them. Above is one of about four giant bowls of crawfish that the seven of us went through; you can't tell in this photo, but that bowl is deep.
Before this, I didn't have a very good impression of crawfish—every time I'd tried them, they were invariably pasty, fishy-tasting, and tiny. These critters were practically a different species: each was easily three or four times larger than any I'd ever seen, and their tail meat was tender and briny.
TVD showed us the proper way to eat them, which involved wiggling tails, prying open shells, and sucking out brains (step-by-step tutorial here, and if you're interested in her dad's crawfish boil recipe, click here). By the time we got through several bowls, my mouth was stinging with spices and my fingers felt sore.
It was all totally worth it.
For the meal LB and JL also prepared a bunch of wonderful side dishes, including hash browns, grilled corn, grilled sausages and onions, and a salad.
Bread, too, which made a great accompaniment to the sausages and crawfish…
…and which LB couldn't resist stuffing with layers of crawfish tomalley, crawfish tails, sausage, and onions. By his report the super sandwich was utterly delicious.
For dessert, TL and I had picked up a sour cream walnut apple pie from Little Pie Company. Any excuse to eat this pie, man—there's just something about the crazy, cookie-like crumb topping over the creamy layers of cooked apple that I find totally addictive. If it wasn't so darn sweet (and so bad for you) I'd be a frequent customer at Little Pie Company's counter.
By the time we all left, JL was passed out on the couch and LB was hunched over a bowl of leftover crawfish parts, painstakingly extracting the meat from the claws and tails. But his hard work paid off—he managed to get enough for a crawfish cake, which he ate in a sandwich the next day. The crawfish-less rest of us just had to make do with our memories.
Thanks, guys, for a perfectly awesome meal.