The Louisiana Crawfish Boil Experience

1. When is crawfish season?
  • You’ll see them as early as December, and they hit their peak around March-April and disappear come July
  • New Orleans has four seasons: Mardi Gras (winter), crawfish (spring), snowballs (summer), football (fall)
  • When it’s festival season, it’s usually a great time for crawfish
2. In New Orleans they don’t call them crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs: they’re crawfish.
3. Breaux Bridge, La. is the “crawfish capital of the world.”
4. What to throw in the boil:
  • 4-5 pounds crawfish per person
  • Basic — garlic, boil seasoning, lemon halves, celery
  • Classic – add red potatoes, corn, sausage, artichokes
  • Classic redux – add sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, pineapple, pork chops
  • Asian-Cajun – add orange wedges, lemongrass stalks 
  • You’ll also need…
  • Newspaper = makeshift table clothes
  • Plastic trays
  • Rolls of paper towels
  • Dipping sauce for potatoes
  • Traditionally lots of beer
5. Random tips/facts:
  • Don’t eat the straight ones
  • Look for the rare blue crawfish and less rare white crawfish
  • Make crawfish étouffée with leftover tails (if you have any), spicy potato salad with leftover potatoes, or a garlic mash to spread on bread with the leftover garlic
  • Don’t forget to get some meat from the claws!

Swedish Crayfish

The annual ‘kräftskiva’, or crayfish party, in Sweden is not something to take lightly. It’s a celebrated with plenty of crayfish, salads and silly hats. Because the summers are so short in Scandinavia it feels right to mark the arrival of locally caught crayfish with a big party.

Dill crowns, the flowering part of the fully grown plant, are commonly found on farmers’ markets in Sweden but less readily available elsewhere. You can grow them at home, or source them from specialist suppliers who stock edible flowers and pollen varieties. Fennel fronds or dill fronds would make good alternatives.

about 50 crayfish

7oz sea salt

4 tsp caster sugar

1 pint beer

large bunch of dill crowns, stalks removed

Bring about 10½ pints (6 liters) water to the boil in a large pan and add the salt, sugar and beer. Add most of the dill crowns, reserving a few for serving, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the crayfish and cook for 5–7 minutes before removing from the heat. Cool the pan quickly by placing in a tub or bath with cold water, iced if possible. The crayfish can be kept in their brine for up to 2 days.

To serve, drain and decorate with the remaining dill crowns. Serve with lemon aioli.

Dockside Seafood Restaurant – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Dockside Seafood Restaurant (formerly Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant) is perched along the east edge of the Jacksonville Beach Boat ramp where you’re entertained with views of the majestic marsh and lively boating scene.

Located on 2nd Street, Dockside Seafood Restaurant is perched along the east edge of the Jacksonville Beach Boat ramp where you’re entertained with views of the majestic marsh and lively boating scene. Experience a casual setting that boasts the high-quality, fresh seafood you expect from local restauranteurs Benjamin and Liza Groshell. Visit and enjoy a local icon!

If fresh fish and oysters awaken your taste buds, stop in today for an unforgettable lunch or dinner with lively atmosphere, knowledgeable and friendly service, and spectacular views.


2510 2nd Ave North,
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250


Gambas de Ajillo (Garlicky Shrimp in Olive Oil) – Spanish

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small dried hot red chile or pinch dried red pepper flakes
12 ouncesshelled medium to large fresh shrimp with or without tails
Minced fresh parsley for garnishing

In a large, deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring continually, until golden, 5 to 10 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring a few times, until pink throughout, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt.

Spoon the shrimp and some oil into individual bowls. Dust each bowl with parsley. Serve with small forks.

Shellfish Profile: Oysters

Description: Oysters are saltwater bivalve mollusks. Because oysters filter so much seawater, they are high in minerals. The risk in eating wild oysters is diminishing thanks to strict guidelines and monitoring of oyster beds. Wild oysters are at their best in the winter, with the main season lasting from late September to May. Oysters spawn in summer months; though edible, they tend to be flabby and insipid, the reason they are traditionally only eaten in months with names containing an R. Farm-raised oysters can be eaten year-round.

Shellfish Characteristics: American oysters have a moderately deep, elongated, rough-textured shell that is grayish white to grayish brown. The tender meat is salty with a meaty texture.

How to choose: Choose oysters without broken shells that are tightly closed. Tap on the shell. If it closes, the animal is alive. A dead oyster will have an unpleasant sulfur smell. Shucked oysters should be smooth and plump and covered in clear, grayish liquid with a briny scent.

Common flavor combinations: Bay leaf, black pepper, butter, cream, Dijon mustard, fennel, hot red pepper, lemon, Pernod, sesame, shallot, soy sauce, spinach, thyme, white wine.

Pan Fried Soft Shell Crabs

4 soft-shell blue crabs
About 2 cups buttermilk, or just enough to cover the crabs
A few shakes of Tabasco
All-purpose flour seasoned with salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place the soft-shell crabs in a shallow dish. In a bowl, combine the buttermilk and Tabasco. Pour the combination over the crabs and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Place the seasoned flour in another shallow dish. Remove the crabs from the buttermilk. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip off. Dredge the crabs in the seasoned flour.

Place a frying pan over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, slip in the crabs. Fry them for a few minutes until the undersides are lightly browned, then turn them over and fry the other side. Serve warm.

Florida Frogmore Stew

* No frogs were harmed in the making of this stew. *

1 ½ gallons water
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
3 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 pounds kielbasa, cut into ½ inch slices
10 to 12 ears of corn on the cob
4 pounds of shrimp in the shell
4 pounds stone crab (these are usually pre-cooked)
onions and  new or red potatoes

Cook onions and potatoes until softened. In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add the water, lemon, salt and Old Bay Seasoning. Bring it to a boil.

Add the sausage and gently boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add corn on the cob broken into 3 inch pieces and continue cooking an additional five minutes. Add shrimp and stone crab and cook an additional three minutes longer. This is just enough time to cook the shrimp and heat up the pre-cooked stone crab. Remove from heat, drain immediately and serve.

Frogmore Stew (Lowcountry Boil)

8 to 10 quarts water At least ½ cup Old Bay Seasoning
16 small red potatoes about 1 inch in diameter, not peeled
8 ounces kielbasa, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 ears fresh corn, shucked and cut into thirds
16-24 fresh shrimp, preferably with head on, you may want more
2 pounds of Crawfish or 8-10 Stone Crab claws or even Snow Crab

Optional: Clams, Mussels, other seafood.

Fill a large stockpot two-thirds of the way with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, add the Old Bay, and simmer for 5 minutes until the water is well seasoned.

Add the potatoes, kielbasa, and onions and adjust the heat to maintain simmer; cook until the potatoes are about fork tender. Add the corn and simmer until the kernels are slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the shrimp and crawfish or crab and cook until the shrimp becomes pink, and both the shrimp and crawfish or crab are lightly fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Strain the solids from the cooking liquid and transfer them to an oversize platter or paper-lined table.  Eat and enjoy.

Garnishes: Butter for the potatoes and corn, drawn butter, cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, hot sauce.

Butter Poached Scallops

This is an easy technique for butter poaching several types of seafood.  With the example of the scallops in this recipe it illustrates the technique.  Can just as easily be used to make butter-poached shrimp, lobster tails, etc.  Butter-poaching is a nice addition when you make shrimp & grits.  Make sure you use some of the poaching butter in the grits to impart the subtle shrimp flavor.

12 Scallops

1 ½ (Approximately) Cups Of Unsalted Butter

Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Arrange scallops in a saucepan just large enough for all the scallops to fit snuggly in one layer. Add water to just cover scallops. Pour water into measuring cup and pat scallops dry with paper towels.  Season scallops well with salt and pepper.

Melt an equal amount of butter to the water in measuring cup.  Melt butter in saucepan at 185 degrees, do not overheat.  Add scallops, turning once, until they are cooked 2-4 minutes.  If necessary test a scallop by cutting in half; it should be opaque in the center.

Transfer scallops to warmed serving plates.  Drizzle scallops with a little butter.  Serve immediately.

Salt Baked Shrimp

3 pounds rock salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves smashed and skin removed
1 jalapeño, sliced, with seeds
2 lemon wedges
2 pounds large head-on shrimp

Mississippi Comeback Sauce for dipping

Preheat the oven to 475˚F.

Combine the rock salt, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, jalapeño, and lemon wedges in a large bowl  and mix well.

Pour half of the salt-spice mixture into a large, oven-safe baking dish and place it in the oven to preheat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the salt becomes hot. Remove from the oven, lay the shrimp in the salt, and add the remaining salt to cover the shrimp.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 8 to 12 minutes, until the shrimp are just cooked through. Using tongs, remove the shrimp from the salt and transfer to a plate. Serve with a bowl of Comeback Sauce for dipping.