In New Orleans and the low country surrounding the city, a crawfish (or shrimp, or crab) boil is a social event, not a dish. Huge cooking contraptions consisting of boilers, a frame to hold the pot, and a huge pot are sold in groceries and hardware stores. They are fired up at tailgate parties, in the backyard, on the beach, any place a fire is permitted and the location is conducive to a good time. Axel swears this serves 12 — that means each person is responsible for at least 4 pounds of crawfish, 2 potatoes, and an ear of corn. French bread, butter, beer, maybe a salad to round things out…
- Water - 8 gallons
- Onions - 12 quartered
- Heads of Garlic - 6 halved
- Lemons - 12 quartered
- Vegetable Oil - 4 cups
- Salt - 4 pounds (64 ounces)
- Cayenne Peppers - 1 cup
- Bags Crab Boil - four, 3-ounce
- Red Potatoes - 24 medium
- Ears of Corn - 12, shucked
- Crawfish - 50 pounds, cleaned
In a 60-quart stock pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the onions, garlic, lemons, oil, salt, cayenne pepper, and crab boil and boil for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 10 minutes. Add the crawfish and bring back to a boil. Cook the crawfish for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the crawfish to soak in the liquid for 10 to 12 minutes.
Cover a picnic table with layers of newspapers and gather a lot of napkins. Drain off the liquid from the pot and spill the crawfish, potatoes, and corn over the newspaper, mixing them up as you go. Dig in.