In the springtime, crawfish are the lifeblood of Louisiana cooking. From the bayous all the way up to Shreveport, from New Orleans to Lake Charles, Cajuns and Creoles alike revel in the abundance of this magnificent crustacean. Thanks to the tireless work of scores of crawfish farmers and trappers, we are able to enjoy mudbugs in a variety of ways: whole, tails, and even soft-shell.
The most important thing to remember when enjoying crawfish is to make sure you’re buying the genuine article. Over the years, foreign crawfish have been working their way into Louisiana markets. In addition to an inferior flavor, imports can contain high levels of antibiotic residue and other substances that aren’t allowed under U.S. law. By checking the package for the country of origin or asking your seafood purveyor, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting the best crawfish your money can buy.
Now that we’re getting into prime crawfish season, get ready to feast on some new family favorites, like this light crawfish salad.
- ⅓ cup Bloody Mary mix*
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 (16-ounce) package cooked crawfish tails, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 12 pickled okra pods, halved
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup thinly sliced celery
- Garnish: celery leaves and lemon zest
- In a medium bowl, whisk together Bloody Mary mix, juice, mustard, salt, hot sauce, pepper, and horseradish. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine crawfish, onion, okra, tomato, and celery with ¼ cup dressing. Place on a platter, and serve with additional dressing. Garnish with celery leaves and lemon zest, if desired.