You may have heard of the appetizer Crawfish Dip (like cheese or crab dip) but that is not what comes to mind when you say crawfish dip in Acadiana. We eat a lot of crawfish here and almost never without a little bowl of some saucy concoction of condiments blended together right by our side. Usually, once the crawfish gets dropped in the pot people start getting their crawfish dip together. There is no right or wrong way to make the dip. Everyone has their favorite combinations. My family has a "Best Dip" competition before each boil. Usually, it's the same winner and since it’s not me I’m afraid it will stay a mystery as to who it is.
Now, this is not a whole of Louisiana kinda thing. New Orleans for example very rarely has the dip fixings out. Once on a visit to the city, I was at a bar with some friends from home and a very nice gentleman came up and offered us free crawfish. Without a beat, all three of us asked: “do you have dip?" He looked confused as he answered "no" and we graciously turned him down. I know many people will judge us for turning down free crawfish but to be honest we are little snobby about our crawfish here and don’t really trust it other places. We also have crawfish available to us in massive quantities. You may have heard about drive-thru daiquiris but did you know we have drive-thru crawfish joints? Just pull right up, order how every many pounds of crawfish, potatoes, and corn you want. They pass you a paper sack lined with a white plastic bag, stapled shut to keep all that steam in and of course they ask you how many dips you want. Seriously, we eat so much crawfish that some of them have punch cards where you get your 10th order free.
I think one of my favorite stories about crawfish dip happened in New Orleans. A local Acadiana restaurant called Hawk's was having a crawfish boil at my friend's bar during Jazz Fest. I’m hanging out with friends, dancing to the band and trying to avoid the onslaught of tourists and their “so you’re Cajun” questions? Don’t get me wrong I am very proud of our culture but it can be a bit of a buzz kill at things like this. You get some people who are genuinely curious. They are fine. Unfortunately, you also get the "is it just like Duck Dynasty, Swamp People, or "insert every reality show based in Louisiana," people. NO! It's not. We are way more diverse than that. Don’t get me wrong we hunt and fish but that isn’t all we do. Those people are only mildly annoying. Then there is the “let me tell you how much more I know about your food/culture/state than you do”- great thanks. Does anybody like that? Why the hell would you explain someone's own culture to them? Do you think we are all just sitting around waiting for someone to enlighten us? Lastly, there is my arch enemy the “let me tell you how I think you should make your food” people. I can’t even get into how much this drives me crazy right now, I will save that for another day. Anyway…So there I was on the back patio and I was cornered by this very nice lady from California who was just grilling me about everything Cajun. Then she picks up her little plastic cup of dip and says “What do you guys call this wonderful aioli?” I say "We call it crawfish dip", “Yes, but what kind of aioli is it?” "It’s the crawfish dip kind." "But what’s you guys’ word for it?" This is when I leaned over, looked her straight in the eye and very slowly said Crrraaawwwffiiisshhh diiiiippp and walked away. After couple glasses of wine, a lady can only be so courteous for so long.
This coleslaw came about from researching a good topping for my fried catfish po-boy. Everything was either sweet or bland. Then it popped in my head! Crawfish dip is just like coleslaw dressing but better. Why not try it? It was Sunday Supper approved. It’s slightly tangy with some spice in their just how I like it.
Most of the ingredients come right off the grocery store shelves. Blue Plate mayo, of course. It's a Louisiana favorite. Creole Mustard is a pantry staple here but if you can't find it try to find a whole grain mustard you enjoy. As for the ketchup, well I am sure you can figure that one out. I used a local hot sauce POP’S. Mais, it's good, good! It has a little bit of sweet with its heat. I’ve used Tabasco when I am out of Pop's. Once again crawfish dip is a personal thing so try your favorite hot sauce. I mean I don’t think any hot sauce is bad. Horseradish is a favorite of mine in my dip. Add less if you aren’t used to it. It’s a pretty bold flavor. Add more if you need a good sinus cleaning. Of course, I use my Cajun seasoning ( recipe on the blog.) I add a little extra black pepper for that extra kick. Now if you are serving this with fried catfish or other seafood, watch your salt because the fry is slightly salty already. Lemon because it’s awesome. Now my piece de resistance - Trappey's peppers in vinegar. Usually, I just use the vinegar to accent what I am eating but I just had a feeling that adding some chopped up peppers would add a touch of an amped up tartar sauce flavor. I know I say it all the time but adjust the amount to your spice level. I am not sure what replacement options are available in other states so feel free to comment and let me know what you find works well in this recipe.
I used green cabbage and carrots for my veggie mix. I throw in red cabbage sometimes to. The prepackaged works fine here too. I live with an Evangeline Parish boy who's family prides themselves on perfectly thinly sliced cabbage (as you can see I have yet to perfect this.)
It’s really simple. Combine all the dip ingredients in a small bowl. Once thoroughly combined and taste tested for your tastes. If you need to tone it down, adding more mayo will help. Want a little sweeter? Add a little more ketchup. Not tangy enough add more pepper vinegar or white vinegar if it’s spicy enough already. Just remember this mix is very personal and can be adjusted a million different ways to suit you. When it’s ready, add it to the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl and thoroughly combine.
Set it aside in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavors can meld.
You can also just use the dip as, well... as dip. It’s great with most seafood boiled, grilled or fried.
Head of cabbage sliced thin (you can also do half and half red and green)
1-2 carrots shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Creole mustard
11/2 tablespoons ketchup
3-4 drops of pepper vinegar ( use white vinegar as a sub, add more if you like it tangier)
3-4 vinegar peppers minced (I use Trappey's)
1 tablespoon wostershire
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning of your choice (my personal recipe is on the blog)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl combine dip ingredients till thoroughly combined.
Add dip mix to cabbage mixture and combine.
Place in fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors meld.
The many different things that can go in crawfish dip
Cajun Power Garlic Sauce
Salt and Pepper
Last, try what you like you never know you may be the next champion of the crawfish dip competition.