Chef Tim Byres' boil works great with shrimp too. It's a one-pot meal in itself with spiced potatoes, sausage, and fresh corn, but no one will complain if you also serve a bowl of bracing slaw, bean salad, pitchers of margaritas, and a mile-high Tequila-Key Lime Meringue Pie. Cook the crawfish on the stovetop in two batches for ease. Or, if you have a 10-gal. pot and propane cooker (or wood fire), boil the crawfish outside all in one go. To do so, simply double the first five ingredients and water.
20 pounds live fresh crawfish, purged (see Crawfish Connection, below)*
How to Make It
Pour 3 1/4 gal. water into a 7 1/2-gal. heavy stockpot; add celery, lemon, onion, spice mix, and 1 1/2 cups red sauce. Bring to a boil; add potatoes. Boil 20 minutes or until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife. Transfer potatoes to a large, clean cooler to keep warm. Add sausage to pot; boil 5 minutes. Add corn; boil 5 minutes. Transfer sausage and corn to cooler.
Add half of crawfish to stockpot; boil 8 to 10 minutes or until crawfish tails curl. Transfer crawfish to a large bowl; toss with desired amount of Tejano Red Sauce. Transfer to cooler. Repeat boiling procedure with remaining crawfish. Serve with corn, sausage, and potatoes.
*6 to 8 lb. unpeeled, large raw shrimp may be substituted. Boil 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.
CRAWFISH CONNECTION: ORDER, CLEAN, BOIL Order direct from lacrawfish.com or cajungrocer.com, and figure on 2 lb. live crawfish per person. To purge crawfish of mud and debris, place them a 48-qt. cooler with a pourable spout. Add cold water and 2 cups salt. Gently stir crawfish; let stand 3 minutes. Open spout, tilt cooler, and rinse crawfish with a steady stream of cold water until water runs clear.
Recipe adapted from Smoke: New Firewood Cooking copyright by Tim Byres. Published by Rizzoli.