Planning Your boil
When planning a boil, like any other party or event, one must plan to be safe, efficient and simple as much as possible. Here are some tips to help make your event successful.
The key to a good setup is to keep all your guests spread out as much as possible not causing any type of bottleneck while serving drinks, food or participating in any other activity. Plan to have an intuitive flow to the layout. Example; do not serve drinks from the same location as the food if possible. This avoids congestion and allows for better guest flow.
Sides & Supplies
Listed below is the standard items or most popular sides for a crawfish boil, however, many people like a variety of things so do not be scared and add whatever you like to the pot!
Here are some recommendations for planning the menu;
Potatoes – I generally plan for 1/3 lb per person. “b” size red potatoes seem to be the most popular and least expensive.
Corn Cobbletts (1/2 ears) – Sweet corn is best. One ½ ear per person plus ten percent additional should cover you fine.
Sausage(smoked) – Pick your favorite sausage and provide about 2 oz per person for light offering. It can be cut up prior to the boil in portioned sizes for easy serving.
Seasoning – While there is no specific rule here, I plan for 3-4 lbs of seasoning per sack of crawfish. Depending on how you like to cook your crawfish, you may need more or less.
Trays - My favorite tray is one that is disposable! I recommend a flip top design that holds 4-5 lbs. You have a place to put the heads while eating and it also makes a great "to-go" plate.
Cooking the Vegetables - If you are keeping it simple with the three items noted above, It is recommended to cook all the vegetables/sides at once in order to save time. First, get the water boiling and add the potatoes . Let cook for 5 minutes then add sausage and corn. All items should be ready to come out in 15 min as soon as the potatoes are tender.
I generally cook all the veggies/sides first and hold them in an insulated container until serve time. Be sure to add butter generously on top of the sides along with a sprinkle of your favorite seasonings. Close the container up and let the butter melt while cooking crawfish and then should be ready to serve a very tasty batch of sides!
Cooking the Crawfish - My suggested method is lightly seasoning the water in the boiling pot with dry seasoning and proportionate amount of liquid boil. A heavy dose of season should be added to a soaker bath in a holding chest. Example; If you are using a 120 qt ice chest to hold your cooked crawfish, add ¾ inch layer of tap water in the ice chest and dissolve 2 lbs of boil seasoning prior to adding cooked crawfish. To season the cooked crawfish, add them to the “bath” and rotate all crawfish thoroughly in the bath with a large spoon. As the crawfish cool down, they will soak up the seasoning allowing for a hot and juicy crawfish which will not have a coating of seasoning on the outside. Your guest will thank you for that!