Simple and Classic Seafood Boil Recipe

In South Louisiana, backyard crawfish or seafood boils are the types of events that you look forward to all year round. Whether it’s the communal eating tradition, methods by which you prepare or ingest the cuisine, or just the flavors of the boiled seafood and vegetables themselves, there’s always something to look forward to. Luckily this recipe for a Creole-Seasoned Seafood Boil from food blog Food52 with supplemental information from Everyday Creole is the perfect resource you need to keep the spirit of a successful Louisiana Seafood Boil alive and well.

 Before beginning the recipe, it should be duly noted that this is by no means a definitive list of ingredients or cooking practices. As anyone who’s ever been at the helm of a boiling stockpot knows, every Louisiana chef and cook has their own method to their particular culinary madness. That being said, the tried-and-true phrase of “fresh is best” should apply in this recipe, as it often does. When procuring seafood, sausages, and vegetables, it’s always a good practice to try and get the freshest, locally sourced ingredients available. This will not only elevate your final dish but also your Creole authenticity.



  1. You’ll start this recipe by filling your large stockpot to its halfway marker with water. Bring the water to a boil before proceeding.
  2. Once boiling, add in your beer, ¾ cup of Creole Seasoning, ¼ cup of smoked paprika, 1 ½ teaspoon of Concentrated Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil, bay leaves, red potatoes, lemons, and your halved head of garlic. Stir in your ingredients, and bring the stockpot back up to a boil.
  3. In a nearby skillet or saucepan, brown your sausage quarters until they emit their oils and are properly slightly blackened on both sides. Then, add your sausage into the stockpot, stir together the ingredient mixture and sausage, and bring your heat down to medium. Simmer for at least 15 minutes or until your potatoes are slightly tender.  When they are, add in your corn, while continuing to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add in your shrimp and crab to the stockpot at this point, and continue to cook it all until the seafood is fully cooked. While this happens, melt your butter into a saucepan over medium heat after you dispose of the sausage oil from earlier. Stir in your minced garlic into the nutter, and cook until the butter begins to caramelize. Stir in the brown sugar, lemon pepper seasoning, 2 tablespoons of Creole Seasoning, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, onion powder, and ½ teaspoon of Concentrated Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil. Simmer this all on low until you’re ready to serve.
  5. When finished, drain the liquid from the stockpot and serve your seafood boil immediately. Feel free to drizzle the butter sauce atop your boil or use it as a complimentary dip.
  6. Enjoy!

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Chefs on Boats Program Brings together Fisherman and New Orleans Restaurateurs

For the past year, Louisiana seafood experts have had engaging conversations about the Louisiana coastline aboard fishing boats. These individuals who have an active stake in the sustainability of the Louisiana coast weren’t coastal scientists or researchers, but Instead, according to this article from, they were chefs from famed New Orleans seafood restaurants meeting with the fishermen who stock their very kitchens. The program that regularly brings together Louisiana restaurant professionals with the fishermen who harvest their seafood is a New Orleans-based program called Chefs on Boats.

The planned meeting between fishermen and restaurateurs isn’t simply for the novelty of it, but it’s an opportunity and an actively growing effort to connect the two coast-concerned parties with the aim of building a collectively better understanding and making stronger allies as the Louisiana coast grapples with historical change.

Centered around a well-intentioned and simple goal to quite literally “get people on boats to see firsthand the work of fishermen and the challenges facing Louisiana’s coastal environment from land loss and climate change,” the Chefs on Boats project is aimed at bringing restaurant people of all types, such as line cooks, managers, bartenders, chefs, and owners straight to the source so that they can bring that experience and knowledge back with them to their French Quarter kitchens.

The Chefs on Boats project is representative of an evolution of a nonprofit effort that formed quickly in 2020 calledChef’s Brigade. The Chef’s Brigade nonprofit is a “united coalition of independent restaurants, purveyors, and chefs working together under a culinary brigade system to feed healthy and amazing food to the citizens, front line responders and healthcare workers of New Orleans on a daily basis.” Initially forming when the pandemic closed restaurants and imperiled hospitality businesses, the grassroots Chef’s Brigade group began to pay otherwise idled restaurants to cook for the pandemic’s essential workers such as first responders and health care workers.

By its conclusion, the program had supplied approximately 3.7 million meals to those in need, and Troy Gilbert, the co-founder of Chef’s Brigade had built a reliable network across the restaurant industry, causing him to think about bringing many seafood professionals together. Gilbert characterized this transition by saying, “we had 90 restaurants in the program that I was talking to once a week, and it blew my mind to discover the disconnect they had from the seafood industry. In New Orleans, we consider ourselves a maritime people, but we built all these barriers to the water around us and there’s a disconnect, including with chefs; it just made sense for us to do this.”

Dana Honn, the founder of the New Orleans-based tropical restaurant and bar Carmo, recently participated in an oyster harvesting outline along with Lindsay Allday and Jeff Spoo, both oyster sommeliers over at Sidecar Patio and Oyster Bar. Honn reflected on the experience by stating that the restaurant people who make their living through the seafood heritage of Louisiana essentially have a nonexistent relationship with the “people who make it tick.” Honn said, “it’s shocking how little information is provided to people in the culinary field and how much they want to learn. There’s a gap, and this (program) is a step in the right direction.”

Since beginning the project only last year, over a dozen trips have taken place, meaning approximately 60 restaurant professionals have been taken out to the source of their livelihood. Although the general design of Chefs on Boats is small in scale with each outing limited to only a half dozen occupants of partnered captain Richie Blink’s skiffs, the close quarters allow more one-on-one time between the restaurant workers and fishermen. Blink appropriately emphasized the importance of these outings by saying, “these waters, the seafood industry, the fishing families, it’s part of Louisiana culture that makes us who we are. It looks like it’s going away but there’s still that can-do spirit, and I think that will get us through these challenges.”

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2022 Crawfish Season Gears Up

Despite the annual challenges that Louisianians face, you can always expect them to remain loyal to the best season of all, crawfish season; and according to this business article from The Advocate, 2022 is looking to be no different in terms of excitement.

It might be accurate to say that Louisiana’s pride has been bruised over the past two years given the unexpectedly exhausting challenges that the pandemic and numerous devastating hurricanes have brought with them. But despite these challenges, Advocate staff writers report that restaurateurs, retailers, farmers, and consumers are as enthusiastic as ever to dive head-first into the 2022 crawfish season as a means to embrace tradition.

Citizens of the gulf coast can attest that a crawfish boil is a singular event that has the ability to bring many different people together towards a common goal, to enjoy a communal meal that is more of an activity than a solitary experience. All throughout the winter, as Louisianians begin to look forward to temperatures rising and venturing outside once again without the threat of wind chill, they begin to anticipate that late winter and early spring emergence of crawfish season more and more.

The enthusiasm this year is palpable, as November and December 2021 saw temperatures that were warmer than expected, which kept local crawfish active. Because the water temperatures in some ponds had reached 75 degrees, the crawfish were able to stay active longer than they had in previous years. This led to the crawfish spending the extra time feeding, gathering, and growing, which has only resulted in heightened catches in early January.

Mark Shirley, an aquaculture agent for the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and Louisiana Sea Grantsaid of that optimal, extended period for crawfish activity, “when the water temperature is jumping between 60 and 70 degrees, that’s optimum for crawfish growth.”

Agricultural experts and industry professionals envision a bountiful crawfish harvest this year despite the prolonged January cold snap that has placed a dent in crawfish production. Laney King, a co-founder of The Crawfish App, software that tracks the prices of the southern delicacy statewide, said that the farmers and vendors she’s spoken to remain optimistic about crawfish production in 2022 despite the frigid January temperatures.

King said, “they can already see the growth that the crawfish have had, even if they’re kind of hiding out a little bit in this cold weather right now.” This statewide resilience is sure to be mirrored by the Louisiana consumer come the peak months of the season in March, April, and May.

As a crawfish specialist, Mark Shirley reported to The Advocate that crawfish supply should remain strong this season, and he’s already seen the production season begin to take shape as well. The sheer amount of land that has been devoted to crawfish production across the state has been measured at about 250,000 acres, and that number is still rising. It’s expected that nearly 150 million pounds of crawfish will be produced in these acres of crawfish ponds across Louisiana this season.

Shirley noted that there are market concerns to be aware of going into the season such as the possibility of a labor shortage when it comes to local crawfish processing plants struggling to find enough workers to assist with the peeling and packaging of crawfish for tail distribution.

However, Shirley advised that Louisiana consumers should plan to start their crawfish boils sooner rather than later in the season so that local farmers can reap the economic benefits and provide for a healthier season throughout the spring. He said, “don’t wait to eat crawfish until April or May. Don’t wait until Easter. Don’t wait until Mardi Gras. Start eating crawfish now. They’re available,” and as anyone who’s attended an early-season crawfish boil can tell you, many Louisianians don’t need to be told to jump on crawfish season early.

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Brothy Seafood Chowder Recipe

This is the perfect recipe for someone who is feeling extra adventurous! Brothy Seafood Chowder posted by Bon Appetit requires fish bones to make the stock. All of the fishing trips you took this summer means there are probably a lot of bones left. Or this recipe gives you the perfect reason to take one last trip before summer ends. This way you get to use almost every single piece of the fish! To make this great seafood chowder you’ll need…


For the Stock of your Seafood Chowder

2 pounds of fish bones, rinsed off

2 stalks of celery, chopped up

1 leek-The dark green parts should be chopped and rinsed. The white part should be cut into ¼” rounds, also rinsed. Set these aside for the actual stew

1 small onion, quarted and unpeeled

1 garlic clove, smashed up

½ cup of sake or dry white wine

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon ofcrushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

6 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves (these are optional)

For the Stew

1 and ½ pounds of boneless, skinless white fish (like cod).  It needs to be cut into 1” pieces

Freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt

1 pound of small Yukon Gold potatoes, these should be quartered

2 cups of Sun Gold tomatoes

1 fennel bulb, half it lengthwise, then thinly slice it crosswise

Extra virgin olive oil , this will be used for drizzling


A large pot

A fine-mesh sieve


For the stock:

The first step for cooking the stock is to cook the fish bones. Heat up the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the fish bones into the pot, stir the bones occasionally but be careful. You do not want to break down the bones. This should take 6 to 8 minutes, continue to cook until there are light, brown spots forming on the bones. The next step is to add the crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, dark green leek pieces, onion, celery, bay leaves, and thyme.

Continue to stir occasionally, scrape the bottom of the pot when stirring. This will help make sure that the stock base isn’t sticking to the pot. Once the onions are golden brown add the sake or wine and cook for about a minute. The base will be reduced by half and that’s when it is ready for the next step.

Add 12 cups of cold water and fennel seeds to the pot; bring this to a boil. Once the stock begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium/low heat. Bring the stock to a simmer and continue to cook; when the foam rises make sure to skim it off. Cook for about 40 to 50 minutes. Once the stock is fully cooked let it cool for about 30 minutes. Strain the stock using a fine-mesh sieve, throw out all of the solids.

Helpful tip! You can cook the stock up to 3 days in advance and just chill it for later.

For the Stew:

Place the stock and the potatoes in a large pot and bring it to a boil, make sure to season it with salt. Once the stock and potatoes begin to boil, set the heat to medium and let it simmer. Cook for about 10 to 14 minutes, making sure that the potatoes are tender. Once the potatoes soften, add the white leek parts and fennel. This should only take about 4 to 6 minutes to cook.

The next step is to add the fish, cook for about 4 more minutes. Make sure the fish is opaque, that’s how you will know it is done. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve in a nice deep bowl. Stop by your local grocery store and pick up some fresh bread to serve. Or even make it yourself!

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