Sunday, June 28, 2015

Louisiana Seafood Feast

We promised Lucas, my 10-year-old grandson, who loves shellfish, that we'd go for a crawfish feast while visiting near New Orleans. But, at Crabby Shack in Madisonville, LA, near the Tchefuncte River, we found out that the season for crawfish was over (March to mid-June). So we had to settle for big Gulf shrimp.  


Hands on! About 3 pounds of shrimp, cooked with "crab boil," a flavor mix with mustard seed, coriander seed, cayenne, bay leaves, dill seed and allspice. With cocktail sauce with horseradish and tartar sauce in squeeze bottles, the shrimp were appetizers for about 10 people. To cook shrimp, crawfish or crab, bring a pot of water to a boil with salt, lemon quarters and the mixed spices. Boil shrimp 1 minute and allow to remain in the water for 15 minutes. Drain before serving.

Lucas gets a lesson from Eli, his mom, on how to peel the shrimp. He loved them. (Oh yes, he wore his Barcelona soccer uniform everywhere.)

Some other dishes from dinner at Crabby Shack.

Blackened catfish with a side of beans. Blackened fish, a Cajun recipe, was popularized by Chef Paul Prudhomme.  Fish fillets are dipped in melted butter, then coated with a spice mixture of paprika, onion and garlic powder, cayenne, ground pepper, thyme and oregano and salt and cooked in a cast-iron skillet heated white-hot.

Strips of catfish fillets fried with a crunchy coating. Pass the tartar sauce!

A po-boy sandwich of fried soft-shell crabs.

Shrimp filé gumbo, a thick soup, served with rice. Filé powder is an unusual seasoning, made from the dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree. The gumbo also contains a big dose of cayenne.

Fried pickles. Yep, slices of dill pickle, coated in batter and deep fried.

In the Crabby Shack kitchen, putting together a Po-Boy.

Po-boy with catfish. "Dressed?" the waiter asks. It comes with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

Seafood chowder.

After the shrimp boil--debris.

We're going back to Crabby Shack in a few days. Shall I try the frogs legs? Then, back to my kitchen in Spain! I'll be packing some Crab Boil spices so I can cook Spanish shrimp in New Orleans style.

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