Cooking Louisiana - Cooking Seafood

Many a Friday in South Louisiana consists of a seafood cookout. We normally pick Friday because during Lent (Catholic religious observance) we won't eat meat. It just kind of carries over. Seafood is a big staple here also and in great abundance so naturally we cook it a lot.

Cooking seafood calls for a few general rules....

  • Keep it cool before it goes into the pot.

  • Marinade fish and shrimp at least an hour

  • Don't over cook it.

  • Cook a little more quantity than you think you need!

In general for adults....

  • 1 lb of fish per person

  • 4 lbs of unpeeled (live) crawfish per person

  • 1/2 lb. shrimp (fried) per person

  • 1/3 lb shrimp or crawfish tails (in sauce) per person

  • 3 large to 5 medium whole boiled blue claw crabs per person

Keep in mind that side dishes constitute the make-up of the entire meal so increase or reduce the amount of seafood as needed. For instance if you're frying fish and shrimp and will have a potato salad, white beans and rice and  French bread with it consider reducing the seafood portions. 

Serve fried seafood hot and season it right out of the oil. If you're not eating right away put the oven on 200F (or as low as it will go) and let it warm up. Cover the seafood with paper towels (not plastic wrap) or, loosely with foil, turn the oven off, and put the pan in the oven. If you seal the pan with plastic wrap or foil the seafood will become soggy. If you leave the oven on it will dry out too much. This only works for so long. After a few re-heats the seafood will dry out anyway.

Sauce dishes (stews, sauce piquant, etc) make great leftovers, cook more than you need if you plan to keep some for the next day or plan to freeze some. 

Freezing tip: freeze your sauce dishes in small containers. When you're ready to take them out again you have the choice of serving as much as you need therefore not wasting any.

Whole boiled seafood will keep in the ice box about 4 days, do not freeze  whole (with the shells on) boiled seafood for very long, it will get freezer burned in no time flat (that's Cajun for real quick). 

 

 

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Cooking Shrimp
Cooking Fish
Cooking Crawfish
Cooking Oysters
Cooking Crab

 

Spice up that packaged seafood!

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