Crawfish, crawdads, crayfish, mudbugs…no matter what you call them, these little crustaceans are related to and resemble lobsters and are a real treat if prepared correctly. These little, miniature lobster cousins are found in many fresh water streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps, marshes, underground waters and wet meadows throughout the country, including here in New York and on Long Island.
Many places down south have celebrations centered around this little crawdad, in the springtime when the crawfish are plentiful. Locally, you can find crawfish at fresh fish markets like Hmart in Williston Park or Greak Neck, or you can contact a crawfish wholesaler, like Bayou Crawfish in West Babylon (631-420-3916).
You can also call in an order and have live, cooked or frozen crawfish shipped directly to your door through dealers listed at the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board (www.crawfish.org). You can even call in the caterers. Alexandra Troy of Culinary Architect Catering in Greenvale (www.culinaryarchitect.com) will bring the crawfish boil party to you, complete with mallets, tin buckets, newspaper tablecloths and bibs.
If you aren’t into the whole shellfish cleaning and prepping and just want to dig into a tasty bowl of ready-to-eat mudbugs, check out the menus at some of these local spots:
219 Glen Cove Rd., Carle Place
www.minado.com • 516-294-9541
236 Jericho Tpke., Syosset
www.marashomemade.com • 516-682-9200
2823 Jerusalem Ave., North Bellmore
bayou4bigfun.com • 516-785-9263
Biscuits & Barbeque
106 E 2nd St., Mineola
www.biscuitsandbarbecue.com • 516-493-9797
Storyville American Table
43 Green St., Huntington
www.storyvilleamericantable.com • 631-351-3446
You’ll find crawfish prepared in at least a dozen different ways at some of these local eats. As always, call ahead to check hours and crawfish availability.
Zatarain’s Easy Boiled Crawfish
12 lbs live crawfish, 8 quarts water
1 package (16 oz) Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil—Complete
1 large onion, peeled
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
1½ lbs small red potatoes
6 ears corn, shucked and halved crosswise
Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 15 mins
1. Pour live crawfish into a washtub or ice chest; cover with water. Drain. Repeat 3 to 4 times until crawfish are clean. Drain. Discard any dead crawfish and debris.
2. Mix eight quarts water, Crab Boil, onion and garlic in large (20-quart) stockpot. Bring to boil on high heat; boil 5 minutes. Add potatoes; boil 5 minutes. Add crawfish and corn; return to boil. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Optional ingredients that can be added to your pot are artichokes, mushrooms, sausage and even broccoli.
3. Turn off heat and let stand 20 minutes. Add about 6 to 8 cups ice to stockpot; let stand 20 minutes to cool. Drain and serve.
—Recipe provided by McCormick & Company, Inc.