After the Crawfish Boil: What to Do with Your Leftover Crawfish Tails

While other states may have more traditional seasons, we in Louisiana do not mark the passage of time with the usual spring/summer/fall/winter monikers. Instead, we observe Crawfish Season, Crab Season, Shrimp Season, and Oyster Season. As this year’s crawfish season draws to a close, we have a few helpful tips on how to extend the joy a few months longer.

Crawfish season typically spans March to June, and you will doubtless attend multiple crawfish boils during this time (to achieve the perfect crawfish boil, check out RRR IV, p. 211). While I personally aim to ensure  no boiled crawfish gets left behind uneaten, even the best of us will occasionally boil more than we can consume in a single afternoon. If refrigerated fairly quickly (within 2 hours of cooking or so), boiled crawfish can last around 3 days. Your best bet, however, is freezing the leftover tail meat.

Start by peeling the leftover crawfish tails, de-veining them, and removing the orange “mustard.” The mustard is high in fat and will spoil within two months, even if frozen. After peeling and cleaning, rinse the tail meat with water and lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Place the cleaned tail meat in a vacuum sealed or airtight, heavy-duty freezer bag and label the bag with the date. Your crawfish tails will keep up to six months!

When that crawfish craving hits you later in the year, thaw your frozen crawfish tails and use them in a wide variety of recipes. Some of my favorite classics include Crawfish Bisque (see RRR I p. 240) and Crawfish Étouffée (reprinted below, or see RRR II p. 129). If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, check out the Acadian Sushi Rolls in RRR IV, p. 40.

Crawfish Etouffee

Photo: Lauren De Witt











Crawfish Étouffée, RRR II, p. 129

  • 1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Red and black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • 1-2 pounds crawfish tails and fat
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes, or equivalent
  • Green onion tops, chopped (optional)
  • Parsley, chopped (optional)

Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet. Sauté the vegetables in butter for 30 minutes. Add seasonings to taste and then the crawfish tails and fat. Sauté for a minute and then stir in flour. Continue sautéing for 3 minutes, then add water, chicken bouillon, and optional green onions and parsley. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then serve over rice. Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Crawfish Étouffée also freezes well. Freeze it in family size or individual portions and thaw it later for a quick weeknight meal!

Black Olive Dip

While most of us consider Memorial Day weekend the start of summer, the true first day of summer isn’t until June 20th. Although it’s still technically spring, temperatures in south Louisiana are already creeping into the low 90s. With the rise in temperatures and the kids out of school, pool parties, beach trips, and barbecues begin to dominate the social scene. This quick and easy Black Olive Dip recipe works well for any summer occasion and is guaranteed to keep guests coming back for more!

Black Olive Dip

Photo: Jessica McVea

Black Olive Dip (RRR II, page 12)

  • 1 soft, ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe olives

Peel the avocado and mash. Stir in the onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and Tabasco sauce. Beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy and blend well. Stir in the black olives. Chill and serve with your favorite tortilla or pita chips! (Helpful hint: leftover dip can be used as a delicious sandwich filling, as well!)

Potato Chip Cookies

If your weekend plans involve getting together and watching the big game, we’ve got an easy treat that combines both salty and sweet in an irresistible cookie.  These Potato Chip Cookies often grace any of our community events tables and are the first samples we run out of. A cookie with crushed potato chips?! It’s the snack that will keep them coming back!

River Road Recipes Potato Chip Cookies

Photos: Aimee Broussard

Potato Chip Cookies, (RRR II: A Second Helping, Pg 210)

  • 2 cups butter (best with butter but margarine and butter flavoring may be used)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
  • powdered sugar

Beat butter until light and fluffy- a long time! Add sugar and beat well. Add vanilla and flour gradually. Crush potato chips with your hand and add them last. Drop from teaspoon onto cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degree oven until slightly brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. These keep well in a tightly closed tin- actually taste better the second or third day. Makes 9 to 10 dozen.

Originally submitted by Mrs. J. D. Guillory

Cookbook committee note: Cookie baking time will vary dependent on oven type and climate but typically take 8-12 minutes. For best results, begin monitoring the cookies at 9-10 minutes and remove when slightly browned.

potato chip cookies RRR Blog

Have a great weekend friends, we’ll see you back next Wednesday!