Food & Drink

Day-After Crawfish Boil Potato Salad

A New Orleans chef takes party leftovers in a deliciously different direction

Potato salad in a bowl with shrimp and spices.


Day-after crawfish boil potato salad.

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.”



    • 1 lb. crawfish tails from the boil, peeled

    • 2½ lb. red potatoes from the boil (about 15), cooled

    • 1 lb. thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons

    • 2 bunches green onions, finely chopped

    • 1 cup bacon vinaigrette


    • 1 cup bacon fat

    • ¼ cup canola oil

    • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

    • 4 tbsp. Creole mustard

    • 2 tsp. honey

    • 1 tsp. Zatarain’s crawfish, shrimp, and crab boil powder


  1. Prepare the bacon: In a medium sauté pan, render the bacon lardons over medium heat until crisp or cooked to your liking. Strain off the bacon fat and reserve for the vinaigrette. Place the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate and allow to sit at room temperature.

  2. Make the vinaigrette: Warm the bacon fat in a small saucepan until just liquified and mix in canola oil. In a large bowl, combine vinegar, Creole mustard, honey, and Zatarain’s. Drizzle bacon fat mixture into vinegar mixture while whisking. (It’s okay that it will not completely emulsify.)

  3. Make the potato salad: Use a serrated knife to slice the boiled red potatoes into thin slices. (It is best to do this when they are cold.) In a separate medium sauté pan, combine the potatoes and vinaigrette and gently warm over medium heat, being careful not to break the potatoes. Lower the heat and add the crawfish tails, stirring for about 4 minutes to warm through. Remove from heat and spoon onto platter or plates. Garnish with green onions and crispy bacon. Serve warm or at room temperature.