geaux cajun food!

10:27 AM sians 0 Comments

another entry that is long overdue and i've got so much things to write about from my trip to san francisco last weekend. but first, i guess i better get started with my christmas trip to louisiana to celebrate with ryan's family last month.

when i think of louisiana, i think of good ol' yummy cajun food - first few things that come to mind are boiled crawfish, seafood gumbo and raising cane's texas toasts among other things. ryan's mom texted me a few days before my trip, asking me what i wanted to eat while i was in baton rouge. my answer was turkey for christmas, boiled crawfish and turkey gumbo. his mom texted me back and said that was exactly what ryan asked for too when she texted him.

what can i say? great food minds think alike :p

the crawfish story |

we had our seafood gumbo and texas toasts and other louisiana cajun awesomeness but still no boiled crawfish. ryan and i were in an intense boiled crawfish hunt and we were determined to get some regardless of whatever. however, the crawfish supplies dwindled with the gulf oil spill last year so the usual places his mom would usually buy from weren't even sure if they could get any in. so off we searched on the yellow pages and when we thought we found another shop that had some, they were out of stock when we got to the store 15 minutes after.

found from google image
after several of phone calls and internet researching, we found tony's seafood which i have to say was out in the middle of nowhere (at least it felt like it was). it was about an hour drive away taking the back streets and found ourselves trying to find a parking space at one of their two parking lots. this place was bustling with a ton of people, getting their fill on fresh seafood tony's had to offer. they sell a variety of seafood items ranging from stuffed crab, boiled and fresh shrimp to cooked dishes like fried boudin balls or just the regular boudin and seafood gumbo to name a few.

but we weren't here for those (except for ryan who was eyeing the boudin from afar) - we were here for the real deal, fresh boiled crawfish, all 30 lbs of it. lol. when we got to the counter and asked the lady behind the counter for 30 lbs,  her eyes widened in shock and scurried to the back kitchen to ask if they had that much. we waited with our fingers crossed. she came out a few minutes later and told us that her colleague will bring us our box of crawfish in a few minutes - yay! :) since the supplies were scarce, the cost of boiled crawfish per pound is doubled the usual price this time of the year. but it didn't matter to ryan since he insisted on having these yummy crustacean regardless the price which thankfully is great for me!

with that, our feast was awaiting, the glorious boiled crawfish and sweet corn, boiled shrimp, fried boudin balls as well as regular boudin. few things that needs to be prepared before getting into the whole crawfish feasting.
01| wearing a tshirt which you don't really care if it gets dirty
02| tons of paper towels
03| a glass of your favorite cold beverage

found from google image
i found this image on how to eat a crawfish in louisiana and it's kinda hilarious. quite accurate i might add. lol. so typically people suck the heads of the crawfish because that's where the essence of the flavor is at. ryan and his family just goes straight for the sweet, succulent tails which are spiced with a peppery, seafood-y goodness. and it pairs so lovely with the mildly spicy sweet corn. sooo good.  oh another thing to be aware of: if the tails are abnormally straight, those should go straight in the trash cos it ain't fresh.

 a definite must do if you are in louisiana or not you're missing out!

not only does tony's have such fresh seafood, their boudin is one of the best i've ever had - both the fried boudin balls and the regular ones. ryan raved about the boudin when he took a bite and agreed with me - and he has had his fair share of boudin, growing up in the south. boudin is basically rice dressing encased in a sausage-like casing. it is super flavorful with a generous amount of meat and just the right amount of spices and seasonings. moist and delicious. similar to their boudin, their fried boudin balls is just as great but with an added crunch from the crust on the outside.

i ate till my heart's content and i ate and ate till i could eat no more. screw my diet because it's so worth it. :)

the christmas feast |

his mom makes the yummiest and probably my most favorite whole turkey - southern style. she just manages to inject so much flavor into the meat of the turkey and cooks it just right to keep the turkey all moist and tasty. ryan, his brother and his mom gets to fight over who does NOT get to carve the turkey. his brother lost. but at least he getting practice on how to carve a turkey right. hehe.

our christmas feast also included corn casserole, rice dressing, asian slaw, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, mini onion quiches (which i made!) and pecan tartlets which is a tradition every year. but this year we added a few more items into the mix: sauteed green beans with garlic, corn bread (ryan's special request), chocolate cookies and a chocolate gooey butter cookies!

no, i wasnt kidding when i said a feast. everything was soo good. it is times like these that i wish i had a bigger stomach to eat them all, twice!

but there are good things that comes with leftovers, especially the turkey - turkey sandwiches and turkey gumbo! the turkey leftovers make such awesome sandwiches with just a spread of mayonaise on soft and fluffy bread, topped with bread and butter pickles and generous amount of turkey meat. oh sooooo delicious!

turkey gumbo does require a bit more work but it definitely pays out in the end. warm, comforting bowl of smoky, flavorful turkey gumbo served with rice on a cold winter's day. we even had some for our breakfast snack the next morning. (yes, gumbo for breakfast)

it was soo delicious that i attempted to make turkey gumbo when i got back to chicago but it still doesn't come out as good as how ryan's mom makes it. (sad face) oh well. even ryan tried making gumbo when he went back to california. haha. gumbo fever.

there will be more entries about my southern vacation to come. the two restaurants i tried while i was in town which i will be posting real soon :)