Having leftovers at the end of a crawfish boil is what is known as a “good problem.” Still, on the solid assumption that everyone has consumed at least their fill, key ingredients can be more enticing with a bit of creative reinterpretation. Enter Louisiana-born chef Farrell Harrison, who will find himself invited to plenty of crawfish boils around New Orleans when the season kicks off in earnest sometime in February.
“Every time I go to a friend’s boil, one of my rules is that it’s my day off,” says Harrison, who last September opened Plates, a lively tapas-style restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District that incorporates many of the city’s globe-spanning culinary influences. “The only exception is that I will make my day-after-boil potato salad.”
Utilizing a boil’s crawfish tails and red potatoes, Harrison incorporates a warm vinaigrette of bacon fat, apple cider vinegar, and grainy Creole mustard to fashion a German-style potato salad, and bumps the zing back up with a bit more boil spice. The dish has proved so popular that it’s a mainstay on the Plates menu, using shrimp when fresh Louisiana crawfish is out of season. “There are different little flavor bombs in there, with the bacon and green onions and pickled mustard seeds,” Harrison says. “It has the flavor profile from the boil, but also delivers a completely different seasoning.”
So who receives these lovely leftovers that Harrison whips up as a backyard boil winds down? “The host gets the largest portion, but I do the work, so I take some home too,” he says. “And it never fails that as I’m making it, people come by and sneak away a scoop.”