My friend Eric Eisenbud is indeed an amazing character. His hunger for all things culinary rivals mine, but his body keeps shrinking. So far, he’s lost 50 pounds over the last several months, and he looks great. But that doesn’t mean the man still doesn’t know how to overdo it like a professional.
Eric, who is former President of New Jersey Les Marmitons, has held a Louisiana Crawfish Boil at his house for the last few years and this year I was one of the lucky friends to be invited. To say that the eating was massive is an understatement. I keep telling myself “not to worry, they’re mostly protein“, but it only goes so far.
Eric Eisenbud. A man who loves his crawfish.
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Our guests of honor, all 70lbs of them, flown in from The Louisiana Crawfish Company via 2nd day FEDEX. Alive and well. At least for now.
Upon close examination they seem to be doing quite well. In fact, the one on the right appears to be engaging in the local New Jersey greeting customs, by giving me the finger.
Whaddya you lookin’ at?
They look exactly like tiny lobsters.
Yes, yes, I know, we’re using Frank’s instead of Crystal. But this is Jersey, my friends.
The spicy bath we’ve prepared for our little friends, which will be used to boil them.
Ready for their Spa treatment.
Enjoy your bath.
This one tried to escape, unsuccessfully.
This gonna be good eatin’, I garontee.
The proud papa.
Ready to go…
Tossing them into the cooler to be seasoned.
Of course the sides are equally as important as the crawfish themselves. Rachel made Okra and Tomatoes.
And Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread with Caramelized Onions and Bacon.
Two of the other dishes that were brought by guests, Dirty Rice (made with Chicken Livers and Beef) and Barbecue Beans. The rice was made by Ron Ricciardi, a local caterer. See the end of the post for the recipe!
Scoopin’ up the bounty.
Ready for delivery to the table.
Another wave of victims.
Gotta have your sides. Shown plated was an excellent Broccoli Slaw.
Maque Choux, a popular Acadian Louisiana corn dish.
Did I forget the wave of Clams and Mussels that came which were poured on top of the crawfish?
Job well done Eric, a job well done.
A bit of a spicy aroma to that cigar.
DIRTY RICE (a la Ron Ricciardi)
1 t Mustard, dry
1 t Cumin ground
1 t Thyme leaves, dried
1 t Oregano leaves, dried
2 T Chicken fat or vegetable oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 lb ground pork
2 ea Bay leaves
1/2 c Onion, finely chopped
1/2 c Celery, ”
1/2 c green pepper ”
2t garlic minced
3 scallions chopped
2 t Cayenne, ground or to taste
1 1/2 t Salt
1 1/2 t Black pepper
1 1/4 t Paprika
2 T Butter unsalted
2 c Chicken stock
1/2 lb Chicken livers, ground
3/4 c Jasmine Rice uncooked
Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
Place the Chicken fat, beef, Pork and bay leaves in a large skillet over high heat; cook until meat is thoroughly browned, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the seasoning mix, then add the Onions, Celery, bell Peppers and Garlic; stir thoroughly, scraping pan bottom well.
Add the Butter and stir until melted.
Reduce heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping pan bottom well (if you’re not using a heavy-bottomed skillet, the mixture will probably stick a lot).
Add the stock and stir until any mixture sticking to the pan bottom comes loose; cook about 8 minutes over high heat, stirring once. Then stir in the Chicken livers and cook about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir thoroughly; cover pan and turn heat to very low; cook five minutes.
Remove from heat and leave covered until rice is tender, about 10 minutes.
(The rice is finished this way so as not to overcook the livers and to preserve their flavor).
Remove bay leaves and serve