Crawfish & Barbecue: Staples At Spring Gatherings – Louisiana Eats – It’s New Orleans

Getting together with family and friends is something Louisianians do best and in springtime, the weather’s just right for barbecues and crawfish boils. This week onLouisiana Eats! we’re going around the state to investigate two primary foods that feed the masses this time of year.

Sam Irwin grew up in crawfish country, so his fascination with our state’s freshwater crustacean seems natural. Sam’s the first of many guests to discuss the crawfish, as well as Chris Jay and Scott Gold, who join the conversation with their own advice about the mudbug.

Then we’ll turn to members of the Southern Foodways Alliance for some insights into barbecue. Chef Drew Robinson talks about running a barbecue joint with over 30 locations, and John T. Edge discusses the peace-making capabilities of a great smoked pig.  


CRAWFISH BISQUE (Serves 8 – Yields 3 quarts)

4 lbs. boiled crawfish

3 lbs. crawfish tail meat


1/4 cup flour for roux

4 T oil

1/2 lg. onion finely chopped

1/2 lg. bell pepper finely chopped

1 stalk celery finely chopped

1 tsp. thyme

1 sm. can tomato paste

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1 T fresh parsley, chopped

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 cup chopped crayfish tails

1 stick butter

1/2 cup flour for rolling heads

Make a dark roux with the flour and oil. Add onions, then bellpepper and celery, and cook until tender. Add tomato paste and chopped tails. Add seasonings and simmer on low flame 10 – 15 minutes. Add bread crumbs, parsley, green onions, and butter. Fill each head with stuffing. Roll in flour and bake for 15 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Set aside.

Crawfish Stock

Take all peelings from crawfish, onions, celery, green onions, etc. and cover with 1 gallon of water. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve stock.


3/4 cup flour for roux

1/2 cup oil

1 onion finely chopped

1 bell pepper finely chopped

3 stalks celery finely chopped

3 qt. crawfish stock

3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 cups crawfish tails

1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

2 T thyme

Make a dark roux with the flour and oil. Add onions, then bell pepper and celery. Add rest of ingredients except garlic, crawfish tails and parsley. Simmer 30 minutes, then add garlic. Simmer 10 minutes, then add tails and parsley. Simmer 5 minutes and add more stock if necessary. Reheat stuffed heads in bisque. Serve over rice. Add 5 – 6 heads per bowl, and eat by scooping the stuff out of the heads and eating together with rice and bisque.