One of my favorite ways to cook outdoors is not on the grill; it’s in a huge black kettle that hangs from a wooden frame my father built in the back yard.
I know people now use fancy stainless steel electric pots for this kind of outdoor cooking, but I just don’t think you get the same flavors as you do from a cast-iron pot that’s been seasoned over the years with the weather and all kinds of magic from your spice collection. And I guess I should mention my father used a shovel to stir the huge pot all afternoon over a steady fire. I imagine that long-handled shovel had to have added some unique flavors to his famous shrimp and crawfish boils.
My parents taught the young married class at church for as many years as I can remember, and a crawfish boil was one way they entertained those young couples every spring. It was the perfect, laid-back party. Eating outside on newspapers with juice dripping down your face was a surefire way to put guests at ease and set a comfortable mood for people to relax and enjoy themselves.
We would always have leftovers, and sometimes my mother would make delicious crawfish pies and frittatas. This quick, easy pasta dish reminds me of a recipe she used to throw together, and it makes for a fast weeknight dinner idea. All you need is a green salad and some crusty sourdough bread and you’re good to go. And if you don’t have any crawfish, shrimp works just fine too.
Spicy Crawfish Linguine
1 lb linguine, cooked to al dente and set aside
2 Tbs olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb crawfish tails, peeled and boiled
1 (10 oz) can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1 (16 oz) jar Classico Alfredo or Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce
1 Tbs chopped parsley, for garnish
In a large skillet with sides, heat olive oil to medium heat and sauté green onions and garlic until softened but not browned. Add crawfish and tomatoes and continue cooking for two minutes to heat through. Add Alfredo sauce and stir until combined. Add pasta, and toss well. Continue cooking on low for 8 minutes, allowing sauce to thicken just a bit. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.