On Valentines Day I showed you how to really impress the ladies with a prawn dish. In todays instalment I decided to pull out all the stops and go for the “big one”, Crayfish.
Forget the boerewors and chops. Meat is getting so expensive, and any idiot can turn a burnt chop, so let’s do something different. Pop down to Uncle Pat Oysters and Seafood in Knysna and get yourself some crayfish. Our crayfish girls are hard at work catching the very best crays in South Africa.
You can work on one 350g – 500g crayfish per person. If the season is open, rather get live crayfish. You really can taste the difference. If not, you’ll have to settle for frozen.
To kill a crayfish, my preferred method is to pop it in the freezer for about an hour. It won’t freeze during this time, but the temperature lowers it’s metabolism and it won’t feel any pain, Take it out and put it into a bowl of fresh tap water for about 15 minutes. My preferred method for preparing crayfish involves slicing it straight down the middle, so insert the knife between its eyes which will kill it immediately, and then slice long ways right down to the tail. Remove the vein running down the back as well as the head contents. Rinse well and place in a bowl in the fridge.
Winter or summer, I braai, and I challenge anybody to name a dish that I cannot prepare outside on my trusty braai fire. I don’t use wood these days (save the forests etc.) and prefer Spar Braai Brickets. Don’t be shy, moer them on, you’ll need plenty of heat.
Get the lady to prepare a bowl of basting sauce. this consists of Olive Oil, lemon juice and fish seasoning. You can add some garlic to this if you like.
When the coals are really hot (3-4 beers), place the crayfish halves meat down on the grid for about 3 minutes. This seals the meat. Turn over onto shell side, and baste the meat side well with your basting sauce. The crayfish will now remain shell side down until done. Keep an eye on the colour of the shell. It will go a bright reddish colour and the meat will change from luminous to bright white. Baste regularly, do not be shy, because if it drys out, its terrible.
When done, pop it over onto the meat side one last time for not more than 20 seconds, and serve with a green salad and a sauce of your choice.
My preferred wine with crayfish is a crisp Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc.