I’ve partnered with SocialStars and Johnsonville to share this Cajun Crawfish Boil.
Head to the backyard this weekend and host a Cajun Crawfish Boil with friends!
When my wife heard the news that she got a job in upstate New York, I was happy for her! But then about 4.3 seconds later, it hit me. Upstate New York? Huh? Isn’t it cold up there? The thought of moving way up north was a bit much for this southern boy. I was born in Texas, raised in the Carolinas and then spent time in Louisiana and Georgia. The southeast is my home! Err, was my home.
I was excited for the move. The job is a dream job for Laura, and I was excited to explore a new part of the country. Just 6 weeks later, the moving van was pulling away from our house in the outskirts of Atlanta, and we were scheduled to meet the movers in New York 10 days later. Talk about a surreal feeling to watch pretty much everything you own drive away! (On a side note, we actually passed the very truck carrying our stuff the day before we moved into our new place in New York. We were on a lonely stretch of highway about 10 miles from the Pennsylvania-New York border, and I recognized the truck up ahead of us. What are the chances of that one??)
In addition to that truck, our cars were also packed to the brim with clothes, dogs and other random things. Like an ice chest full of Cajun meat. Yup, that’s right. Before we left Atlanta, I visited a Cajun meat market and stocked up on all of my favorites. Andouille sausage, crawfish tails, boudin, alligator, tasso. I knew I wouldn’t be able to find these up north, so I brought ’em with me! I saved them in my freezer up here and rationed ’em out very slowly.
I love a good Cajun crawfish boil! Have you guys ever been to a crawfish boil? They’re usually held outdoors in the early-mid summer, and they’re a great excuse to hang out with friends and eat good food. I’d never eaten crawfish before moving to Louisiana, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. However, truth be told, my favorite part of a crawfish boil is all of the other stuff that goes in the pot with the crawfish. Like sausage. And corn. And mushrooms. And potatoes. They all soak up the seasoning in the water, and they’re seriously tasty!
A couple of weeks ago, Laura noticed that a local restaurant was hosting a crawfish boil on Memorial Day. Say what!? A crawfish boil in upstate New York? Sure enough. It turns out the chef has some Louisiana roots, and he flies crawfish up for a Memorial Day boil every year. How did it take me 6 years to hear about this?? Of course we went and enjoyed crawfish on Memorial Day…and it was awesome! But all it made me do is want more crawfish. So I decided to do my own Cajun crawfish boil…right in my backyard!
While I still can’t find alligator or boudin (or turduckens, for that matter) up here, I was lucky enough to stumble across Johnsonville Naturals Andouille Sausage. Andouille is a style of smoked sausage made with Cajun seasonings…and it’s a requirement for crawfish boils! Another requirement for crawfish boils: crawfish.
I wasn’t sure if I could find crawfish up here, but I managed to find whole frozen crawfish at one of our local grocery stores. They weren’t the traditional live crawfish, and they weren’t from Louisiana. But you know what? Sometimes you just gotta make do with what you’ve got. So those crawfish landed in my cart and off I went to my backyard. Our Cajun crawfish boil was a success! The sausage and corn was the first to disappear…no surprise there! I’m actually now thinking about hosting a yearly crawfish boil in our backyard. I’ll need to find a better source for crawfish, but I’ve got the andouille sausage covered thanks to Johnsonville!
Johnsonville’s Andouille Smoked Sausage is part of their new line of Natural Brats. (This line, which also includes White Cheddar Smoked Sausage and Jalapeno Cheddar Smoked Sausage contains no MSG, trans fat or fillers.) Andouille sausage is great just by itself on the grill, but I typically save it for my favorite Cajun recipes. Like this Cajun crawfish boil. Or these Red Beans & Rice. Or this Dirty Rice. If there’s one thing you can always count on finding in my freezer, it’s andouille sausage. That and ice cream. Enjoy!
Cajun Crawfish Boil
For the Seasonings
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ½ Tbsp black pepper
- ½ Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- ½ Tbsp onion powder
- ½ Tbsp dried thyme
- ½ Tbsp dried oregano
- ½ Tbsp dried dill
- ½ Tbsp dry mustard
For the Crawfish Boil
- 2 lemons halved
- 3 pounds small red potatoes halved
- 1 head garlic halved
- 2 small onions halved
- 4 ears corn halved
- 1 pound Johnsonville Naturals Andouille Sausage sliced into 2” pieces
- 1 16-oz. package button mushrooms, cleaned
- 8-10 pounds crawfish live or frozen (see note)
- Fill large (at least 28-quart pot) with 3 ½-4 gallons of water. Add seasonings, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. (Note: If you don’t want to make your own seasoning mix, just use 1 cup of store-bought crawfish or crab boil mix.)
- Once seasoned water comes to a boil, add lemons, potatoes and garlic. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for for 6-8 minutes.
- Add onions, corn, sausage and mushrooms. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add crawfish and return mixture to a boil. Let simmer for 5-6 minutes. (See note about using fresh crawfish.)
- Drain well and serve immediately. (Tip: Lay old newspapers or white rolling paper on table outside, then just dump the strained crawfish, sausage, corn, etc onto the table.)