The key to enjoying crawfish, according to chef Michelle Carpenter, is patience.
Carpenter, of Zen Sushi, is advising attendees at Mardi Gras Oak Cliff's first-ever crawfish boil this Sunday to accept there's no quick way to peel a mud bug. Carpenter, who's preparing 500 pounds of crawfish for the event, would know:
"My father's family is from Louisiana," she explains. "Growing up, this is what we did. It's definitely a family affair."
Oak Cliff has sponsored a Mardi Gras parade for three years running, but the boil marks the neighborhood's first serious foray into Cajun cooking. An admission wristband, which entitles its wearer to one pound of crawfish, costs $15; additional crawfish can be purchased for $8 a pound.
"At this point, everyone should be online, buying their wristbands," Carpenter says. (Go here to buy wristbands online.)
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The feed's set to begin at 3 p.m. near the intersection of 7th Street and Bishop Avenue in the Bishop Arts District. The Mardi Gras parade, which will proceed down Davis, "will pass right by," Carpenter says.
There will be beer available, of course, and Carpenter says she's planning to make jambalaya as a side dish.
"If they don't want to invest time in peeling those crawfish, they can have something quick," Carpenter says.