It seems more often these days I get called upon to cook for parties and get togethers. Sometimes, I like to do a theme. Last Sunday, the birthday boy requested the meal I made him last year---crawfish. Living in the South (well, SOUTHERN California), there are several Vietnamese markets in the area that carry live crawfish. We got 20 pounds, live and extremely feisty.
To keep the theme, I bought an eight pound pork butt. Saturday night, I put my homemade rub on it at let it rest in the fridge. At 3AM, I got up and put it into my Traeger smoker. My neighbor later commented that they could could smell the hickory smoke at 7AM when the woke up. "It must be Ed", they said to me later that day.
It smoked until 3PM, rested inside until 4PM when I pulled it into shreds and put it into a crock pot for serving. Sweet baby Ray's BBQ Sauce was available on the side for it, as well as cole slaw and small French rolls to make pulled pork sliders.
Next up was the beans. I put sauteed onion, garlic and green peppers into another crockpot, along with two large cans of pinto beans and a can of Bush's Grilling Beans, Southern style. I had smoked 6 strips of bacon in the smoker and cut those up into small pieces and added it to the mix. In went some molasses, a bit of vinegar, some siriacha hot sauce, cumin, onion and garlic powder and finally some brown sugar. Easy, but the combination was good and it didn't take much time. After all, I still had lots to do!
When I was in Mobile with the Glee Club for the Brick Pit and Wintzell's Oyster House dinners, I wound up driving back to Los Angeles with a friend. On the way, I stopped at M & S Cajun Boudin and Grocery in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Besides buying fresh shrimp and pork boudin, as well as crawfish etouffee and pork boudin pies for lunch, I picked up a few packages of their andouille sausage and tasso ham. Vacuum wrapped, I knew I would save them for something good.
I made a chicken, sausage and tasso jambalaya, using basmati rice that I buy in 10 pound bags from an Indian store near here. Lots of tomato, a decent amount of spices and the trinity of bell pepper, celery and onion and it was in the pot and on the stove.
The crawfish were the last to go. I have a pot from a turkey fryer that I use on the propane side burner of my BBQ for seafood, etc. I filled it up to the 20 pound turkey size with water, onion, garlic, lemon, celery and a liberal (well, extremely generous) dose of Loiusiana crawfish boil spice. It took a while to come to a boil, but when it did, The crawfish went in the pool, all 20 pounds of them at once.
It came about 3 inches from the top of the pot. They cooked for 10 minutes and then I turned the heat off and let them sit in the boil for another 25 minutes.
They filled up four turkey platters.
There were no leftovers on the crawfish, everyone loved them.
The party was a success. I had Southern blues playing on Pandora and the birthday boy was happy. I think he went through four large plates of crawfish, himself, while his brother did almost as much. It was a delicious, Southern evening!
<message edited by EdSails on Wed, 08/28/13 5:27 PM>