With crawfish season hitting its peak, there’s a lot for fans of the little crustaceans to celebrate. The celebration at Sunday’s ninth annual Rotary Club of Galveston Crawfish Boil promises to be bigger than ever, with an expanded menu adding to the afternoon of food, Zydeco music and family fun.

The event is a favorite among both ardent crawfish peelers and folks who prefer food from dry land. The Lighthouse Charity Cooking Team brings their “Crawdaddy” and “AfterBurner” cookers to prepare crawfish and shrimp, but the team also dishes up hot dogs and barbecue beef-stuffed baked potatoes.

For 2019, the team is also serving blackened red snapper. The crawfish, boiled shrimp and red snapper plates are all served with boiled potatoes, onions and fresh corn on the cob.

The Lighthouse team will be cooking more than 4,000 pounds of crawfish throughout the afternoon, enough to satisfy even the most enthusiastic peelers and shuckers. Many of the Rotarians have their own favorite ways of using leftover crawfish and shrimp, and are ready to care of a crawfish surplus, should that be necessary.

Rotarian Cathy Marinos and her family like to use leftover shelled crawfish in a cheesy, stuffed French bread. The recipe calls for a cup of crawfish tails; the general rule of thumb is that a gallon container of boiled crawfish will yield about a cup of crawfish once they are peeled.

Crawfish in their shells don’t reheat well, so it’s best to peel them while they are still warm. Once peeled, the crawfish tails will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days, or can be frozen for up to six months in freezer-grade zip bags or tightly sealed containers.

At the Rotary crawfish boil, the Lighthouse team will be cooking continuously throughout the afternoon to guarantee that each diner gets a plate of freshly cooked crawfish or shrimp. Home cooks should also make sure that their crawfish are eaten or refrigerated within two hours of cooking.

Rotarian Robyn Bushong adapts her recipe from the Junior League of Galveston County’s “Rare Collection” cookbook, Seafood La Jolla, to use leftover boiled shrimp or crawfish. Since leftovers from a crawfish boil will already be seasoned, the amount of salt and pepper may need to be adjusted.

The Rotary Club of Galveston Crawfish Boil gets under way at noon on April 14 at Moody Gardens, in the white event tent behind the Aquarium Pyramid. The Cajun band Mustang and His Two-Steppin’ Zydeco Band will provide music, including during the Zydeco dance contest that crowns the Zydeco Dance King and Queen.

For children, the event includes a children’s crawfish eating contest, the “Mud Bug Bounce” bounce house, and other games and food items. Admission to the crawfish boil is free, and tickets for the crawfish, shrimp or blackened red snapper plates are available for $25 in advance or $30 at the event. Advance food tickets are available at the Galveston Chamber of Commerce office, 2228 Mechanic Street, Suite No. 101, by calling the chamber office at 409.763.5326, or on line at www.galvestonchamber.com.

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