Monday, September 10, 2012

Cooking the Coonass Way

My husband and eldest son went crabbing the other morning on Marsh Island in the Vermillion Bay with a friend and his son, who had the gear and local knowledge of the best places to set up the nets. They did spectacularly well and ended up netting 7 dozen blue crabs—that's right, over EIGHTY crabs!! My husband's co-worker was kind enough to relieve us of cooking them (because we didn't know quite what to do with them) and invited us all over to his place for a crab boil and to watch the LSU (Louisiana State University) game.

As I have only seen baby blue crabs before, I had no concept of what a windfall their catch was, but was smart enough to know that I was pretty glad 007 hadn't brought half of them home for me. Instead, he only brought home a big bag of shrimp that he said was part of the bounty of the bayou. I was amazed that two pounds of shrimp could be caught so easily, too, and packed them on ice to make for dinner the next day. (More on that later in this post.)

Are you as curious as I was about how many crabs that is? Check this out:

A tub of Louisiana blue crabs, seven dozen of 'em!
Cooking the crabs in a 30-gallon pot with, I'm guessing, Zatarain's Pro Crawfish & Crab boil, along with corn, potatoes, celery, and onions.

Now that is starting to look pretty damn good.

Crab decimation. You have to work for every bite, but, oooooh, it is worth it. 

So now we're feeling all kinds of Cajun. Maybe even a little bit Coon-ass (a term for born and bred Louisiana Cajuns that people keep telling me isn't nearly as offensive as it sounds). 

So, the next afternoon I spend laboriously de-heading, shelling, and de-veining the shrimp that the guys brought back, and then sauté-ing and combining with past for a delectable feta-shallot-garlic dish that my husband affectionately dubbed "super-pasta" some many years ago.

We sit down to eat and I propose a toast to husband and son for bringing home so many native treasures for us to enjoy, adding that, in my opinion, crabs and shrimp beat pheasant and deer any day of the week, It is at this point that CC says, "We didn't catch any shrimp." I was like, "WHAT? What do you mean, you 'didn't catch any shrimp?'" And he says, "Yeah, we only caught, like, ONE shrimp. Are these the shrimp I brought in from the boat yesterday?" I nodded in the affirmative. My husband's eyes seemed to expand a bit. "Oh my gosh. Mom, those shrimp were BAIT! I wondered why Dad asked me to bring them in and put them in the fridge!"

Stomach: Turned.

So, yeah, I cooked up a mess of bait last night for dinner. I guess they didn't taste too bad for sitting in a baitwell for a few hours, but I'm going to be double- and triple-checking my food sources from now on.

Oh, and I'd prefer if we never spoke of this again, okay? 


  1. What?!?! You ate it anyway? You're a brave woman Amy!!!!

  2. Yum! Our favorite seafood market here in Knoxville drives down each day to LA to pick up fresh fish and turns around and brings it right back. We love a good boil here!

  3. Oh. My. Word.

    That's all I can say (gagging a little).

  4. I cannot stop laughing. Anyway, the crabs look amazing and now my mouth is watering and I'm homesick.

  5. I'm just seeing this, and uncontrollably laughing/snorting! This is utter hilarity!


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.