Crawfish/Shrimp Boil — MTM

Posted by DmentD | Recipes | Sunday 9 September 2001 12:00 am

First Batch
12-15 GAL of cold water
53 OZ (1 large jar) Zatarain’s Pro Boil (powdered)
2 C Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Crab & Shrimp Boil or Pro Boil (powdered)
3 OZ Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp & Crab Boil (liquid)
4 TBS cayenne pepper
1 C celery powder
1 C (2 sticks) butter (to eliminate foam)
8 medium onions (halved)
6 heads of garlic (split in half exposing pods)
6 lemons (halved)
1 head celery (cut roughly)
24+ small red potatoes
12+ half-ears of frozen corn
2½ LB baby carrots (optional)
1+ LB mushrooms (optional)
1+ LB Brussels sprouts (optional)
2 whole artichokes, stems trimmed (optional)
2-3 whole heads of fresh broccoli (optional)
2 LB smoked sausage (optional)
3 C vinegar (for shrimp only)

Second Batch: Do not change the water, just top it off or bail it out as necessary.
53 OZ (1 large jar) Zatarain’s Pro Boil (powdered)
2 C Zatarain’s Crab & Shrimp Boil or Pro Boil (powdered)
3 OZ Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp & Crab Boil (liquid)
4 TBS cayenne pepper
½ C celery powder
1 C (2 sticks) butter (to eliminate foam)
8 medium onions (halved)
6 heads of garlic (split in half exposing pods)
6 lemons (halved)
1 head celery (cut roughly)
24+ small red potatoes
12+ half-ears of frozen corn
2½ LB baby carrots (optional)
1+ LB mushrooms (optional)
1+ LB Brussels sprouts (optional)
2 whole artichokes, stems trimmed (optional)
2-3 whole heads of fresh broccoli (optional)
2 LB smoked sausage (optional)
1½ C vinegar (for shrimp only)

CRAWFISH:

This is for 30 to 45 LB crawfish, using a 100 to 120 QT pot.

Rinse the crawfish in cold water, do not purge — it’s a mostly useless procedure for crawfish and places them under unnecessary stress. Continue to wet down the crawfish occasionally, but allow them to drain and not remain submerged. Keep them in a shaded location until you are ready to add them to the pot.

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the butter, seafood boil mix (powdered and liquid), cayenne and celery powder and continue to boil for five minutes.

Reduce the heat and bring the water to a low “maintenance” boil. Add the lemons (squeezed into the pot first), celery, onions and garlic then cook for approximately five minutes. You may opt to put the lemons, onions, garlic, and celery in a boiling bag for easy retrieval later.

Add any remaining vegetables except the corn and broccoli and cook five minutes more.

Increase the heat and add the crawfish and any whole meats (i.e. chicken legs, turkey necks, etc — but not sausages).

Just before the water returns to a boil (a vigorous simmer) turn off the fire and allow it to hot soak for 5 minutes then add the corn, broccoli and sausage (or sausage-like foods) and stir the pot well. Allow to continue to soak for 10 minutes, stir, soak for another 10 minutes then start checking for doneness by sampling a crawfish and judging the flavor and texture.

The meat of the tail should be slightly firm and springy. If it is soft and slightly mushy, the crawfish are overcooked. When the crawfish sink, they’ve absorbed all the flavor they’ll absorb. The trick is to make sure they’re not overdone by the time they sink. Stir and check every 10 minutes until done. The soak takes roughly 40 minutes, more or less.

Drain the crawfish and serve hot.

For the second batch do not change the water, just top it off or bail it out as necessary. If doing more than two batches, drain the pot and start fresh.

SHRIMP:

This is for 50 to 60 LB shrimp, using a 100 to 120 QT pot.

Use the same method as above with the following amendments:

Add the vinegar to the water when you add the seasoning. Once you add the shrimp, start the process of bringing the water back to a bare boil. Once the water is just approaching a simmer, add the corn. Once the water reaches the bare boil, immediately check the texture of the shrimp and kill the heat if the texture is right (springy and tender, not mushy). Allow to hot soak for 4-8 minutes until the desired level of spicyness is attained. Drain the shrimp and serve hot. Shrimp do not need to boil for minutes, nor do they need an extended soak. It’s very easy to overcook shrimp and turn the texture mushy, and shrimp take the seasoning more readily than crawfish.

 

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