How to Eat
Gator is a mild flavored white meat that has the same consistency as chicken or pork. It can be substituted in chicken and pork dishes quite easily – or grilled and fried as a stand-alone entrée.
- Eating crabs can be messy so prepare the eating area. Covering the surfaces with newspaper or craft paper will make clean up easier.
- Gather your tools. A claw cracker, crab mallet and a dull knife are all handy to have at the ready.
- Remove your crab's legs & claws using a twisting motion. The dull knife can come in handy here. If you see some meat attached to the legs or claws go ahead and EAT IT!
- Place the crab on it's back and slowly separate the body into 2 sections (top & bottom)
- Break bottom half into 2 halves. Use fingers (or knife) to remove all meat from chambers.
- Use claw cracker or mallet to open claws.
Choose a crawfish with a big tail, hold the body and grab the tail. Twist the tail to loosen it from the body and pull the tail away from the body. Pinch the tail just above the fans, this makes the meat pop out from the shell. Pull the tail meat our and enjoy! Suck the head if you want – the spicy juices are great. Or, for the true die hard, stick your pinkie in the body and scoop out the fat.
Fish can be prepared in more ways than can be imagined. Louisiana is famous for its culinary creativity with seafood and fish is no exception. We cook it fried, baked, in soups, grilled, blackened, and sometimes raw. Here is a sample of how to bake fish.
How Do I Bake Fish?
You can actually cook quite a variety of fish dishes, while utilizing one simple cooking method, baking. The standard rule is bake fish 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. Turn the fish half-way through cooking, unless it’s 1/2 inch or less. To ensure that fillets cook evenly, tuck thin ends under. Still, cooking times vary depending on the density of the fish. So, there are back-up tests. Fish is done when it flakes easily with fork at thickest section; when it’s opaque all the way through; or when it’s 145 degrees F internally.
How to Shuck an Oyster
Start with the right equipment:use an oyster knife that’s short and sturdy with a rounded point tip whose blade will no bend easily. Also. use protective gloves: a pair of heavy-duty gardening gloves will work if you can find shucking gloves. At the very least you should cover your hand in a dishtowel. Oyster shells have sharp ridges so even if the knife doesn’t slip, you can cut yourself if you try to shuck with your bard hands:
Choose oysters with tightly shut shells that feel heavy in your hand. The deeper the cup of the lower shell, the meatier the oyster. Hold the oyster firmly in one hand with the deeper cup of the shell against your palm.
Slip the knife blade between the top and bottom shell near the hinge on the back. You may have to wiggle the knife a little to get it firmly into the shell. The blade should be far enough in the it almost reaches the opposite side of the shell.
Keeping the knife blade positioned so that it is flat and parallel to the edge of the shells, run the knife all the way around the oyster until you get to the other side. Be sure to keep the blade pressed up against the inner top surface of the upper oyster shell to avoid cutting into the oyster meat, but still severing the muscle that connects the oyster to its top shell.
Move the blade back and forth until the top shell gives a little. Then, using a twisting motion, pry the top and bottom shells apart. Be gentle yet firm. You don’t want to jerk the oyster or force it because that might spill the oyster liquor.
Once the top shell is completely off, move the blade underneath the oyster meat to cut it free from the bottom shell. Then, tip the oyster from the shell and let it slide down the back of your throat!
Turn the shrimp on its back, so that the side with the legs is exposed. On that side, near the top of the shrimp, place thumbs in the middle and pull the shell apart. The shrimp shell is very thin and will come off easily. Just pull apart the whole under side, from the legs to where the tail begins, and the shell will come off in one large piece. If serving the shrimp whole as an appetizer you can keep the tail intact, as it makes a convenient handle.