Eat Invasive Species: Cajun and Swedish Style Rusty Crayfish Boils

Introduction: Eat Invasive Species: Cajun and Swedish Style Rusty Crayfish Boils

Rusty Crayfish are one of the tastiest and easiest invasive species to collect and bring home to the pot.  

The rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus ) is native to the Ohio River basin in the United States. It has been distributed to other areas around the country, most likely as unused bait released by fishermen.  Invasive populations can be found throughout the upper-Midwest, particularly in Wisconsin -where we harvest this dinner from- but populations have also been recorded from Colorado.  More details on how to find and harvest Rusty Crayfish can be found at .  This recipe was graciously provided to us by a close friend and collegue, Ashley Baldridge .

Ingredients: Cajun Style Crayfish Boil
5 quarts water
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely sliced
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons salt
2 lbs whole crayfish

Ingredients: Swedish Style Crayfish Boil
2.5 quarts water
6 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Generous amount of dill (fresh crowns preferred)
2 lbs whole crayfish

For either recipe, bring water to a boil before adding all ingredients except crayfish*. Boil for 10 minutes to get the flavors acquainted. Next, add live crayfish and boil for an additional 7 minutes. Crayfish can be cooked in several batches, though you may want to refresh with more salt and spices.

*For a more authentic Cajun experience, you can also boil small red potatoes and corn (shucked, on the cob cut in thirds). Add small red potatoes to the boiling boil 10 minutes before the crayfish, and add corn at the same time as the crayfish.

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