Montana has its own version of a freshwater lobster: the crawfish. McGregor Lake is crawling with them. Last year I attended a scuba gathering where we fanned out and caught enough to make a decent meal. Although it is easier to catch them with scuba gear, a snorkel and quick hands will work as well. Be sure to wear gloves and have a net bag to collect your catch. And remember, you need a fishing license to harvest your catch. For more information on how to cook and catch crawdads click here.
Diver catching crawdads with SCUBA gear on McGregor Lake in Montana
Here is a fun recipe to try if you get a good amount of crawfish gathered.
Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe
1 stick butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 pound peeled crawfish tails
1/2 pound peeled shrimp
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and saute until the vegetables are wilted, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crawfish, garlic, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the crawfish for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the flour in the water. Add the crawfish mixture. Season with salt and cayenne. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and green onions and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.
recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse and can be found here.