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
Serve fried seafood hot and season it right out of the
oil. If you're not eating right away put the oven on 200°F (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
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
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).