Incorporate Crawfish With Butter For A Vibrant Summertime Condiment

Mudbug butter may just be the thing your summer table needs most. Never heard of crawfish butter? It's one of those things you might never have dreamed up, but once you sample it, you'll begin looking for new applications. A word of caution for the uninitiated: crawfish butter can have two meanings: It can refer to what MasterClass calls "the yellow stuff found in the head of a crawfish," but in this instance, we're talking about a compound butter made of dairy butter with crawfish meat incorporated into it.

How do you make crawfish butter? This unique condiment is perfect for the day after a social low country boil, when you and your friends have had a couple of beers and eaten a pile of crawfish, with a few mudbugs left over. Crack into those leftover crawfish, let some butter soften to room temperature, dice up the crawfish meat, leaving all that delicious cajun spice, of course, and just work the crawfish into the butter until it's evenly distributed. 

Use as much or as little of the crawfish as you like; you can use exclusively tail meat if you prefer, or you can go all in and throw in the tomalley, too. And if you're wondering what the heck a tomalley is, it's the crawfish's hepatopancreas, and you'll find it in lobsters and crabs as well. In crawfish, it looks like a yellow blob, and it's intensely flavorful. Now that you've made crawfish butter, what should you do with it?

And how should you use your crawfish butter?

You can store the prepared crawfish butter in a bowl, but the best way to manage it is to roll it into a log wrapped in wax paper or parchment paper and refrigerate it. When you're ready to use your crawfish butter, you can simply slice off as much as you need ... and it can go on everything! Chargrilled oysters topped with crawfish butter just before serving make for a complex and delectable starter. A butter-basted ribeye is elevated with both the richness of the crawfish and the kick from the cajun seasoning. A summery pasta dish with fresh tomatoes and grilled shrimp benefits from a dollop of this briny cream, too. If the main dish you're preparing could do with a little added fat and spice, it's fair game for your crawfish butter.

Garden fresh green beans are transformed by crawfish butter, especially if you top them with a little lemon zest for a citrusy kick. Summer's best sweet corn would be divine with the stuff, since the cajun spices hit some of the same notes as Old Bay seasoning. And a piece of cornbread, hot from the oven, is begging for crawfish butter, balancing cornbread's natural sweetness with the savory heat of the compound butter. Crawfish butter is not only a perfect way to use up leftovers, it's also an inventive condiment that adds flavor, richness, spice, and complexity to a range of ordinary dishes.