Maries Says Read This
Amateur Crawfish Eaters
Amateur crawfish eaters have learned to appreciate the delicious mud-based delicacy -- de-mudded and boiled in proper seasoning, of course -- but find themselves daunted by the process of peeling the crusty tail covering to extract the meat. We crack, pull and peel laboriously, as though they were tough shrimp, finally to retrieve the delicacy.
Crawfish are not fresh water shrimp, tough or otherwise . . . as any Pro will quickly attest! Said Pro will further attest that the preferred shelling technique is much different and said crustacean, obviously hatched to be eaten, comes with a specialized shelling feature, much better than the measly shrimp.
Tip from Chef Brian Smith: When eating crawfish, there's no need to remove the peel from the tail. While you are laboring over the crust of the crustacean, your Cajun friends will eat five times as many crawfish as you do.
Here's the easy way to do it. First, break off the head and discard it. (There are those, however, who suck the heads and pick the delicious meat out of the larger claws.) After you break the head off, place your thumb on the ejection button near the tail of the crawfish on the underside and mash firmly to break the meat loose.
With the shell still partially intact, bring the tail meat to your mouth and sink your teeth into the exposed meat. Chomp down on it, and it will pop into your mouth as you leave the tail behind.
Since crawfish are tastier and more plentiful this year (2004) than they have been in years, I’ve been working on different ways to prepare them. Write me at the address below and I’ll send you my original recipe for “Crawfish and Eggplant Pies,” which are simple-to-prepare individual pastries that can be served as appetizers or main dishes. The ingredients smell fantastic while you mix them.
You will feel good when you serve the pies because of their excellent taste and presentation. People will think you spent hours cooking them!