Spring in Texas: The Crawfish Boil (and Crawfish Mac & Cheese)

by Shawnda on March 26, 2013

in Cajun,Crawfish,Mardi Gras,Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Seafood,Texas

Crawfish Boil

Crawfish boils are kind of a big deal here in Houston. And by kind of a big deal, I mean how much more fun could a person want to have besides drinking beer (ahem, grapefruit margaritas), standing around a gigantic pot filled to the brim with corn, potatoes, crawfish, and scary amounts of cayenne pepper.

All that’s turned out onto a large table covered with newspaper. Suddenly, it’s the ultimate, informal family style experience.

Crawfish Mac & Cheese

I’ve developed a new appreciation for crawfish this year. You see, I’ve always had this thing with crawfish… or against crawfish.

Really, my thing has to do with getting to the actual crawfish. It’s not the most appealing thing. But a few grapefruit margaritas seem to take care of all of that and I found myself peeling away.

Crawfish Boil

My friend Harmony says peeling crawfish is therapeutic. And I’d agree… all the way up until my fingers began to burn. And that really just meant it was time for another margarita.

Crawfish Boil Spices

Harmony sent us away with a bunch of leftover crawfish and the orders to “make something awesome” with it. And something awesome we made.

I whipped up my favorite stove top mac & cheese and added the leftover crawfish and the spicy corn cut away from the cob. If you already think that a pile of spicy crawfish is pretty much a perfect food on its own, try it in a big bowl of carbs, covered in a light cheesy sauce.

The rest of the leftovers went into the freezer until I have the chance to make something awesome for Harmony :)

Crawfish Mac & Cheese

Crawfish boil leftovers get new life in a creamy stove top mac & cheese.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz macaroni pasta
  • 4 oz white cheddar cheese, grated (don't use pre-shred)
  • 4 oz fontina
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (I use 0% Fage)
  • Tobasco
  • 1 Tbsp Creole (or other spicy brown) mustard
  • 1 cup leftover crawfish tails
  • Kernels from 1-2 leftover corn cobs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced dark green onions, for serving

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni pasta for 8-10 minutes in salted water, until al dente.
  2. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining the pasta.
  3. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  4. Add 1/4 cup pasta water, the yogurt, several dashes of Tobasco, mustard, and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
  5. Stir in remaining cheese, one small handful at a time to prevent clumping, adding additional pasta water as necessary to thin the cheese sauce.
  6. Stir in crawfish and corn kernels, and serve immediately topped with green onions.
  7. To reheat, microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Add a tablespoon or two of skim milk or water to thin the sauce, if necessary.

Notes

Yields: 3-4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Helene March 27, 2013 at 7:24 am

I’ve never had a Crawfish Boil, maybe next time I visit down South. That looks so yum!

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2 Eva @ Eva Bakes March 27, 2013 at 8:12 am

One of our friends hosts a crawfish boil every summer, and it’s something we look forward to every year (they have about 300 pounds flown in from Louisiana). I might have to sneak some crawfish home so I can make this mac and cheese!

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3 Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor March 27, 2013 at 8:21 am

Wow, the mac and cheese looks delicious!

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4 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

Best mac and cheese ever!

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5 Kelsey March 27, 2013 at 8:55 am

I’m so with you on the actual getting to the crawfish. The meat is delicious, but the tearing, ripping, peeling, and sucking? not so much. But crawfish in mac and cheese…I can definitely get behind that!

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6 Amy @ The Nifty Foodie March 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

Oh man. I’m the slowest peeler in my family too…but I agree…totally worth it! LOVE this time of the year!

This mac & cheese sounds amazing!

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7 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 27, 2013 at 9:07 am

Your photos are too amazing, Shawnda! Love the first one with the crawfish just spilling out. We’ve gotta do that down here in Austin! This mac and cheese looks too good to be true, too! Great recipe. And hey, are you going to BlogHer Food in June?

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8 foodiebride March 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Thanks, Georgia! I am not going to BlogHer Food this year – we have a Disney trip planned for the same weekend/week.

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9 Georgia March 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Aww, sorry to hear you won’t be there but it sounds like you’ll be doing something 200x more fun anyway! ;) Have a great time!

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10 Nikki @Seeded at the Table March 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I can’t do it. Just can’t do it. But, somehow you’ve made crawfish look so pretty, anyway! Now that I’m in Mississippi, I should probably cave. I just can’t yet. ;)

Now crabs on the other hand…I can pick and peel through those all day long. So, maybe there’s hope that someday I’ll do the same with crawfish. I think I’ll have to start with this mac ‘n cheese, first.

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11 Mr. & Mrs. P March 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Wonderful photos!!! Never attempted to make crawfish, they arent that big over in Miami… They do look great in Mac n Cheese!!!

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12 Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife} March 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm

This mac and cheese looks so delicious. I love LOVE love crawfish. I am so happy it is crawfish season, but I wish I lived closer to it. Yum!

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13 Trisha March 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Whoa. That mac and cheese looks absolutely divine! My mom spent much of her summers in Florida visiting with family and therefore, knows a thing or two about crawfish boils so we had one last summer as an alternative to grilling brats and burgers. I’ll definitely vote to do another one this year, and follow it up with this delightful dish!

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14 Sara March 28, 2013 at 10:43 am

Gosh, I love crawfish. You’ve got me looking forward to my business trip to Houston in June!

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15 Mali from ATX March 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Crawfish Mac-n- Chez! Oh Lordy Momma! I must go to there ASAP!

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16 Dommy April 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I LOVE reading your blog,!!! You crack me up and the recipes are amazing :))) we just had a crawfish boil and I soooooo wanted to peel the leftovers to use for pasta but after a day of eating and boozing we were to exhausted, will not make that mistake again, this looks to yummy!!

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17 London April 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Saturday I am going to my very first crawfish boil and I cannot wait!!!!

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