Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cooking with a Legend: Crawfish Celery Dip - a fast and easy crawsfish appetizer.

Cooking with family and friends has always been a part of Cajun culture and tradition. It's not uncommon to spend and entire day slow cooking a cochon de lait or stirring the roux for a big pot of gumbo just in time for the farmers as they come off the fields at sun down. No matter the hard times they may be going through be it drought, poor crops, slow economy, more mouths the feed than slices of andouille sausage in the jambalaya, oil spills, or anything in between, when the Cajun's get together there will be bon food and bon temps!

This is no exception in our families and around the kitchen of Baby Kay the stories are endless, the drinks are full, memories are created and the meals are legendary. In spite the entire families effort to write down or recreate her recipes, all attempts have failed. Not because Baby Kay (or Mama Kay as her family calls her) is concealing her recipes or cooking secrets, in fact she goes out of her way to help teach the curious minds and watchful eyes lined around her butcher block island. The reason efforts have fallen short is because Mama Kay doesn't follow recipes and never cooks the same thing exactly as she did the last time. But without fail, all her creations are nothing short of perfection.

So, what better way to prepare three frozen pounds of crawfish tales remaining from July 4th's trapping adventure than bringing them over to Mama Kay's to fix up? I couldn't think of one either... Following is one of her favorite "fast & easy" dishes perfect for unexpected guests that happen by or when you need a little filler while waiting on the gumbo to cook down.

Crawfish Celery Dip:

With at least one pound of crawfish tales in a mixing bowl include the following ingredients chopped to preferred size and mixed to taste. After chilling, serve with your choice of assorted crackers...don't expect leftovers.
  • Celery stalks
  • Parsley
  • Green Onions
  • Mayo
  • Tony Chachere's Seasoning
  • Tabasco
This dish also goes great over salad and prefect for hot summer afternoons.

Hope y'all enjoy this Lagniappe creation of Mama Kay's. If you fix it up in your own kitchen drop us line and let us know how it turned out. Bon Appetite!

Y'all come back now ya' hear!?

The Arizona Crawfish Company Family

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cajun Practical Joking! Trapping Log: July 24th, 2010

How does one desert R.C.A. (Registered CoonAss) torture another? By sending picture texts of all the crawfish he is catching to the other stuck working in the office. Boudreaux set out Friday afternoon to trap crawfish for a private party featuing a live crawfish boil. While setting traps with his trusty Chocolate Lab Phoenix, and alone with his thoughts, he got the notion to amused himself by sending picture texts of his successful trapping adventure to Romey at work. Knowing full well that Romey would much rather be out in nature and setting crawfish traps than behind a desk, Boudreaux roared with laughter thinking of what Romey's reaction must be with each new picture text he received.

At the end of his trapping session, Boudreaux pulled over 80 pounds of crawfish out of Goldwater Lake.

Averaged out Boudreaux trapped 4.7 pounds per trap in a 16 hour window...We do believe that is another Arizona Crawfish Trapping record! We have not found any state or Game & Fish documents that keeps such records so stay tuned as that will soon be featured on our website! There are a few notable difference's that attributed to the success of this trip over our July 4th log:
  1. Foot Traffic: Unlike our July 4th weekend, Boudreaux had the lake almost all to himself which allowed the traps to be completely undisturbed while submerged.
  2. The use of our crawfish bait that was delivered earlier this week which maintains scent and form in the traps for longer periods of time than other forms of bait i.e. raw chicken, canned cat food, etc.

Congratulations on the safe & successful trapping trip, but look out! Romey is coming for you Boudreaux...

Thank you for your support. Y'all come back now ya' hear!?

The Arizona Crawfish Company Family

Friday, July 23, 2010

Watch for Boudreax on road!

He just left A and M Graphics in Mesa where Andrew just finished applying a full length window decal on his F-150. Keep an eye out for him on the road as he heads up to Goldwater Lake to trap for tomorrow night's private party crawfish boil! If you can track him down lakeside he just may have a few extra pounds of crawfish or bait he can spare...

Thank you for your support. Y'all come back now ya' hear!?

The Arizona Crawfish Company Family

Monday, July 12, 2010

Arizona Crawfish Festival in the Pines

Watch this special production by the Arizona Game & Fish Department at our 2nd Crawfish Festival in the pines.

The Arizona Crawfish Company Family

Friday, July 9, 2010

Crawfish Trapping Log: July 4th, 2010.

When most folks think of Arizona they think dusty, dry, rattlesnakes and cactus from Tombstone to the Grand Canyon. These are the common keywords and very rightfully so, but Arizona has much more to offer. In fact, if you've never been to Goldwater Lake you probably wouldn't associate pine trees, mountain lake, family picnic destination, trout fishing or even Blue Heron to the name. But not only can all this be found and enjoyed along the shore line of this quaint 15 acre lake, it's also the habitat for thousands of crawfish!

Located a few miles south of Prescott on old Senator Highway, Goldwater Lake was originally built in the 1920's as a water source for the anticipated growth Yavapai County and opened to public use by Prescott's Park Service in the 1970's. No one really knows when Crawfish were introduced to Goldwater Lake or exactly how many crawfish lurk below the surface...but we can tell you it's close to the number of Nutria nesting in the the cypress knees along the banks of the Lacassine Bayou. In other words, A LOT!

Trapping large volumes of crawfish requires a lot of mobility around and on the water. Since the banks of the Goldwater Lake are reserved for pedestrian traffic only, please welcome the newest member of Arizona Crawfish Company known as the Desert Green Gator.

This little 14 foot boat really earned it's keep! It enabled us to set "trout line" type assemblies for the traps all over the lake and made transporting our catch back to the lakeside picnic area a much simpler task than carrying them by hand as we have done in the past. Honestly, we probably would have caught just as many crawfish without the boat and crawfish trap lines assemblies, but we would have missed out on other important outdoor activities such as wetting a fishing line, napping under the shade of pine trees or boiling twenty ponds of trapped crawfish to share with all the people present at the lake that day filled with curiosity at the concept of actually eating 'those nasty mudbugs.'

It's always a highlight watching and listening to people's reaction when trying boiled crawfish their first time. One of these day's we may write a book with all the one-linners we've heard over the years like "what is that black line?" or "Is it healthy to suck out their brains?" and a personal favorite "I can afford not to eat these!" One of the most common questions we are repeatedly asked is "what do you use to bait crawfish traps?" The answer is simple: if there are crawfish in the water, it doesn't really matter. Canned cat food, fish bones, bacon, catfish blood bait, raw chicken, hot dogs or even processed crawfish bait, you name it! As long as it creates a smell, it will attract crawfish! What's more important about bait is quantity, not necessarily quality. If you're using Open Two Ring Crawfish Traps in shallow water that need to be checked often, then a slice of bacon tied in the middle will suffice. If you're using a vinyl coated pillow trap several feet deep off a rock ledge and you may not be checking but every 12 or more hours, then up to 1/2 chicken might be required. In other words, the longer you're gone from your trap, the more bait you want to load it with as you want your bait to produce scent that will attract crawfish the entire time you are away from your traps.

This weekend we used primarily chicken since there was a sale at the grocery story of whole chickens for $3; so for less than $30 we were able to keep seventeen crawfish traps full of bait for two full days.

All said and done at the end of our 48 hour trapping expedition, we weighed out a grand total of 150 pounds of live crawfish. Averaged out we were catch 2.2 pounds per trap per 12 hours with very little relocation of traps. You would think numbers like that would make a dent in an Arizona lake but we saw no indication we made the slightest dent in crawfish population. In fact the traps were just as full the last time we checked them as they were the first time.

We've yet to decide which water source we'll be trapping at next, but we'll keep y'all posted and send trapping updates as well! No matter what body of water y'all hit next, please remember to be respectful of our environment, courtesy to other outdoors men, patience with young ones who could be experiencing nature for their first time and messing with another man's crawfish trap could consequently lead to you being the crawfish bait...

Y'all come back now ya' hear!?

The Arizona Crawfish Company Family

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Arizona Crawfish Company

Welcome to the official Arizona Crawfish Company blog! Here you will find updates to upcoming events, boils and real-time trapping reports from lakes all across Arizona.

Whether you enjoy crawfish in the Cajun family traditional setting with family, friends or complete strangers; as a tasteful compliment to a meal; or simply bait for your fishing outings. Crawfish are a resource for as many types of people as there are species of crawfish.

Here in Arizona crawfish have as many uses, both economical and culinary, as they do in Louisiana but most folks don't know it. Countless times we have been lakeside on one of Arizona's many water reservoirs with traps full of crawfish and surrounded by people intrigued with the sacks of crawfish we are carrying back to our trucks where the boiling pot and the day's catch await us. More often than not folks stick around to see the harvest of crawfish, learn the art of peeling and enjoy the taste of the world's greatest kept secret in freshwater...crawfish! Even the greatest skeptics alive who are intimidated by their look, their claws, or "sucking their heads" start coming around to the joys of crawfish after their first bite!

Crawfish are not only great for breaking social barriers as you eat and enjoy, they are a main source of life to the Cajun people. Like all things in the Cajun culture, crawfish were meant to be shared just like the culture's "joie de vivre."

And so with the infestation for crawfish into the Arizona waterways and two mis-placed Cajuns who have called Arizona their home for over 15 years, enter Arizona Crawfish Company whose soul purpose is to promote the enjoyment and fellowship of the Cajun lifestyle that can only be found around supper time in good company with a mess full of hot, spicy crawfish steaming on the table. We leave you with a few simple words as old as the southern hospitality and sincere as the morning dew: "y'all come back now ya' hear!?"

The Arizona Crawfish Company Family