Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Crawfish Boils

 Louisiana Crawfish Boils
It’s springtime! The time when folks begin to gather outdoors for barbeques and cookouts. But if you live in Louisiana, family and friends usually crowd together for crab and crawfish boils.

Growing up in Louisiana, there wasn’t a weekend that went by when at least one family member would invite us over for a boil! It was a time when cousins played on the lawn, and the women sat around and gossiped, while the men worked around the hot pots, purging the crawfish, seasoning the water (everyone had his own recipe as to what went in, and they weren’t about to tell the other).

For any northerners that don’t know what a crawfish is…well, here ya go. It as a small lobster, but much more tender and tasty. Oh yeah!
Crawfish Legend

And as with all things Louisiana, there is a legend that goes along with the crawfish that goes like this:

Crawfish are descendants of the Maine lobster.

After the Acadians (now called Cajuns) were exiled in the 1700s from Nova Scotia, the lobsters yearned for the Cajuns so much that they set off cross the country to find them.

This journey, over land and sea, was so long and treacherous that the lobsters began to shrink in size. By the time they found the Cajuns in Louisiana, they had shrunk so much that they hardly looked like lobsters anymore.

A great festival was held up their arrival, and this smaller lobster was renamed crawfish.

But you don’t have to live in Louisiana to partake of these wonderful crustaceans. These days, you can order a sack or two and have them sent directly to you live and kicking...er pinching. There are several companies that will ship them out overnight to you.

 There are many steps to cooking delicious boiled crawfish. First of all, you will need the following ingredients:

1 (35 to 40 pound) sack live Louisiana Crawfish*
2 (1 pound) boxes/sacks Crawfish Boil Seasoning**
6 to 8 lemons, sliced in half
Small onions, peeled
Smoked sausage, cut up into large pieces
Small red or new potatoes, unpeeled
15 to 20 ears of fresh corn on the cob, shucked and broken in halves
6 heads of garlic, split in half exposing pods.

Equipment needed:

One large Stainless-Steel Boiling pot (60 to 80 gallon) with basket insert, and lid (you can use your Deep-Fat Turkey Fryer) - will cook about 10 to 15 pounds of crawfish per batch)

Outdoor high-pressure propane cooker

Large tub or two ice chests (depending on the amount of live crawfish)

A large paddle for stirring the crawfish.

A large picnic table with plenty of newspapers to cover it, several rolls of paper towels, and a large garbage can.

Cooking Crawfish:

In a large (60- to 80-gallon) pot over high heat, add enough water to fill a little more than halfway.

Squeeze the juice out of the lemon halves into the water and throw the lemon halves into the water.

Add crawfish or crab boil seasoning (see left column).

Cover pot, turn on the burner full blast, and bring water to a boil; boil 2 to 3 minutes to allow the spices to mix well. NOTE: It needs to be hot enough to bring the pot to a rolling boil in about 15 minutes.

Using a large wire basket that fits into the pot, add onions, sausage, mushrooms, potatoes, and any other vegetables you desire. Maintain a boil and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add crawfish to the wire basket (note: remove any crawfish that are not live), stirring them a bit. Once the water starts a rolling boil again, boil 5 minutes. Regulate the burner so the rolling boil is maintained, but where the pot does not boil over.

Turn the burner off, keep the pot covered, and let the crawfish soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the strainer from the water, and rest it on the top of the pot using two boards laid on the top of the pot as a rack. Let the crawfish drain.


Serving Boiled Crawfish:

To serve the traditional way, cover a table (preferably outdoors) with thick layers of newspaper.

Spill the contents of the basket (onions, potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, green beans, and crawfish) along the length of the newspaper-covered table. They are best served steaming hot.


To learn more about how to purge the crawfish and interesting things about them, check out http://whatscookingamerica.net/Seafood/CrawfishBoil.htm

Rita Monette is a South Louisiana native and the author of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, a middle grade novel about a young girl growing up on the bayous of Louisiana. Oh yeah, she eats her share of crawfish!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Uncharted, by Justine Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

Finally, the long awaited cover reveal for UNCHARTED is here! 

Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.

Book Details:

Title: Uncharted

Author Name: Justine Alley Dowsett & Murandy Damodred

Length:  319 pages

Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Comedy, Adventure, Swashbuckling, Polyamoury

Release Date: April 17, 2017

About Uncharted:

Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice. 

Fated to be a Priestess of Saegard, Meredith dreams of leading a normal life with a family and a home of her own, something she’ll never have if she swears her life to the Order.  A chance encounter with a stranger in the sacred Celestial Chamber sends her previously well-ordered life into a tailspin of adventure and mayhem as she is blamed for the theft of a legendary artifact. 

Now a fugitive, Meredith must join forces with Captain Reginald Lawrence, the son of the man who initially brought her to the Temple, and his enigmatic business partner, the charming yet at times infuriating, Grey Rhodes, to find the Celestial Bowl and clear her name. From the cosmopolitan capital of Saegard to the coast of Ismera and back again, Meredith’s journey will reveal the true nature of her past, present, and ultimately, her future. 

Meet the Authors:

Justine Alley Dowsett

From obtaining her BA in Drama at the University of Windsor to becoming an entrepreneur in video game production and later, publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett's unswerving ambition has always led her to pursue her dreams. She lives in Windsor, Ontario and dedicates her time to writing and publishing fiction novels. When not focusing on growing her business, she enjoys role-playing with friends and developing new ideas to write about.

Murandy Damodred

With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, Murandy Damodred enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid role-player and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she'd rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is an expert in sales and management living in Windsor, Ontario.

Connect with:

Blog: http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.wordpress.com

Pre-Order Links: