March 28, 2012

It's crawfish season! Laissez les bon Temps Rouler, ya'll!!!!!

If there's one thing The Impulsive Texan likes to do, well, it's eat! I'm a sure fire eater and I love all kinds of food. But one of my favorites is Cajun. As some of you may know, The Impulsive Texan is a 5th Generation Texan with blood from the English and the French. I mean how much more cajun/french can a name be than Dueboay? 

On my profile I have a bio line and it says something to the effect of "five generations of Texan on my mama's side and no telling how many generations of coon-ass on my daddy's side". So I wear my blood proudly on my sleeve, whether it be English or Acadian/French.

Many years ago I was fortunate enough to live close to my ancestors homeland of Lafayette, Louisiana, while I was stationed with the Navy in "The Big Easy", New Orleans. A Navy buddy of mine and I went to the French Quarter one afternoon for dinner and "bee-uh" (that's the pronunciation of beer in Louisana) and he ordered five pounds of crawfish. He started eating them and invited me to join him. I asked him "why in the !@#&! he was eating catfish bait" and he promptly told me to not judge it 'til I tried it. He continued to pour Dixie beer down me and before you know it, I was "ten feet tall and bullet proof", so I thought, "what could the harm be in trying one of the little fellas? After all, they are the cousin to the lobster and I love's me some lobster!" So, with the gusto of the brew prompting me, I shucked one of the little guys and popped it in my mouth and was prepared to run straight to the bathroom to get rid of it. But to my surprise, it was delicious!!!

From that moment, during crawfish season you wouldn't see me pass a pot of the boiling crustaceanal (is that a word?) delights without leaving with two or three pounds. I have to admit it took many years and many more bee-uh's to get me to suck the heads. The day it happened, I was also under the influence of the hops and barley. I was certain this time that this would definitely set my innards aboil and I would quickly excuse  myself to get rid of the vile liquid and chunks or whatever came out. Once again I was pleasantly surprised, the liquid that rolled across my tongue was OH so spicy and delicious. So now you won't catch me wasting a good crawfish head as I crush and squeeze out all of that wondermous bayou nectar.

After many years in New Orleans, I came away with quite the skill of boiling the mudbugs myself. And about four years ago, I made an off-hand comment to some family friends that I knew how to boil crawfish. They invited me over to be the mudbug chef for the day for their daughters birthday party one spring. Everyone enjoyed my recipe so well, that they invited me back a few months later to be chef of ceremonies for his wife's birthday party. And every year since then, they don't buy the bugs until they find out if Chef Dueboay is available to cook. That's a nice compliment.

A year or so ago, a business-man friend and old song-writing buddy and I were making small talk. It was spring and the conversation somehow moved into boiling crawfish. I told him that I had been boiling them for years and years and always used the recipe I had been given from the grandfather of a cajun queen I had dated back in New Orleans in the '80's. I still use that recipe/technique to this day and won't ever change it. A few weeks ago, my songwriting buddy called and asked if I'd be interested in being the crawfish chef for the day for a party he was hosting. I told him I NEVER passed up a good chance to boil crawfish. 

Below are some pics from the boil we had on Saturday. He had cajun music blaring from the stereo and everyone was passing a good time, cher'. About 30 - 35 folks showed up to join in the cajun festivities. I boiled close to 100 pounds of crawfish and there wasn't a single one left at the end of the day. 

Here are the little fellas getting ready to take a dip in the 
hot tub.

I done told you sir, I ain't giving you my recipe!!!

Making sure the ingredients are well mixed before I 
begin the cooking.

Here we go, the first batch is headed to the pot!

Of course the chef has to ensure the crawfish are fit 
to eat. That surprised looked on my face is from picking 
up one of the steaming hot mudbugs, straight out 
of the boiling pot!

Deploying one of the "techniques" to ensure lots of 
flavor in the crawfish.

That fella in the light colored shirt ate his share and my
share of crawfish that day! In this pic he is seriously 
getting all of the wonderful juice out of the head.

Last batch of the day and The Impulsive Texan is sure
enough tired. It was late in the afternoon and that 
western sun had heated up to about 85 degrees, 
the pots were still boiling and I was standing in probably
105 degree heat and steam. But  you know, I wouldn't have 
changed a thing.

Laissez le bon Temp Rouler ya'll! I hope you have a fabulous spring. Go out and get yourself some mudbugs and pass a good time, cher' and if you can't find someone to boil your mudbugs, I might happen to know a fella that would be willing to come to your place and help you out!!! Wonder who that could be?

"I may not get much done, but I sure am slow"...