Recipe For Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce

Like most countries in the world where commercial fishing exists, the recreational fisherman is the one to suffer from a lack of fish close inshore and from the fact that the commercial fisherman get the majority of what is available in our seas. This is a two sided coin for us as a lot of our friends are commercial fisherman, and they rely on quota’s and the weather for their income. At the same time, we fish for recreational purposes. 30 minutes by sea from Gordons Bay where we live is a bay full of crayfish. The commercial fisherman can go everyday and take out crayfish much smaller than the recreational permit allows. Ten years ago, the season for the recreational catchers was from the 15th of November, everyday until the end of January, and then weekends and public holidays, until the end of April. This year our recreational season opens on the 15th of November and we can go out everyday (weather permitting of course) until the 15th of January, and then we can only go out again over the Easter weekend. We are allowed four crayfish per person on the boat, with a maximum of 5 people per boat. So, we can basically catch 20 crayfish per trip. We are allowed out once per day with time constraints. The license for catching crayfish is extremely cheap (R94 – less than €10) but there are costs involved in going out fishing, which means that even though we have easy access to this luxury, it is not a cheap meal. It is however cheaper than if we were to buy the crayfish that the commercial fisherman catch – and they come back with thousands a day. When the season was longer I used crayfish in my macaroni and cheese but now, I take care to make a special meal with the crayfish. This is one of those meals. You can substitute the crayfish for any shell fish, so use whatever is easily accessible to you.

"Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce"

Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce

Crayfish Ravioli With A Bisque Sauce
for the pasta:
  • 200g pasta flour
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
for the filling:
  • meat from 2 crayfish tails
  • 10g parsley, chopped
  • 1 small chilli, seeds removed
  • 1 egg yolk (keep the white for sealing the ravioli)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
for the bisque sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 carrot, cut in a small dice
  • 2 crayfish tail shells
  • 60mls white wine
  • 125mls stock
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cream
for the pasta:
  1. mix the ingredients to form a dough and knead for 10 minutes
  2. add more flour if too sticky, and water if too dry
  3. roll into a ball, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour
  4. roll the dough out to number 6 on a pasta machine
  5. cut out your ravioli shapes ready for the filling
  6. lightly dust with flour
for the filling:
  1. place all the ingredients into a blender and mix into a smooth mousse
  2. to make the ravioli:
  3. place one teaspoon of the mousse in the centre of each disc
  4. lightly beat the egg white and brush along the edge of the disc
  5. place a second disc on top of the disc that has filling on it
  6. seal properly, ensuring you get all the air out
  7. cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes once you have added the cream to the sauce
for the bisque sauce:
  1. heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the shallots, celery and carrots
  2. allow onions to soften
  3. add the shells to the pan
  4. when the shells change colour add the wine and the stock
  5. leave to simmer until the sauce has reduced by half
  6. allow to cool and blitz the ingredients until they are well blended
  7. put the teaspoon of oil into the pan
  8. soften the garlic and add back the crayfish mix
  9. add the water and bring to the boil
  10. pass the ingredients through a chinois
  11. clean out the pan and add the sauce back
  12. leave to simmer for 5 minutes
  13. add the cream and allow to thicken
Cooks Notes
I served the dish with grilled courgettes and micro leaves

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by  Emma of Soupier 


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 21

Here is another quiz that I am transferring off my other blog.

1. What is a liqueur?

an alcoholic syrup distilled from wine or brandy and flavoured with fruit, herbs or spices. (my favourite at the moment is Angels Share) 

2. What is the difference between bacon, pancetta and prosciutto?

bacon is the fat and lean meat from the side and back of the pig which has been preserved by dry salting and is usually smoked as well. It is sold in thick or thin slices. pancetta is unsmoked bacon from the belly of a pig, cured with spices, salt and pepper. it is sold rolled into a sausage shape and is served thinly sliced. prosciutto is an Italian ham from the hind leg of the pig, usually rubbed with salt and other dry seasonings and matured for 8 to 10 months. it is usually served wafer thin. the best known is Parma ham.

3. What is dragon fruit?

a cactus fruit

4. What is Devonshire cream?

clotted cream which is served with scones and jam – a specialty in Devon and Cornwall. Enjoyed by Dave and I in Widicombe in the Moor


5. What do you call béchamel sauce to which eggs and Gruyère have been added?

I know that a mornay sauce is with cheese, and a croque madame is a croque monsieur with egg, but not sure what only has eggs and cheese.

6. Are peanuts, nuts?

peanuts are ground nuts and are the edible seed of a legume. they are not nuts

7. From which country does pasta originate?

egg pasta is associated with Northern Italy, pasta with durum wheat flour is from the south of Italy. however, lurking at the back of my head is a fact that China may be where pasta originated.

8. Cumin seeds are actually not really seeds. What are they?

it is the fruit of the plant

9. How should meat be sliced?

parallel to the bone, across the grain

10. What is lavabread?

I’ve been watching the Hairy Bikers – a Welsh bread made from seaweed!


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Recipe For Pork Patties

I realized when I made my lamb burgers that lamb is far too expensive to make patties from for everyday, general consumption. Straight away I had another recipe in mind, but as with most things in my life, time ran away with me. Before I knew it, Dave turned 60 and we had a week long celebration, my sister left for Australia which meant another trip to Johannesburg and the burger patty competition winner was announced. A sirloin burger has won the competition but to me, that is just another meat patty. I kept my recipe in the back of my mind and had actually decided to make sausages out of the meat instead. But, I still have not got sausage casings, and the pork pieces came out of the freezer for eating. I have used pork as my basis for the patty, and as I am all about healthy eating at the moment, I made small patties, and we ate less than we would have if I had made larger ones.

"Pork Patties"

Pork Patties

Pork Patties
  • 280g pork
  • 130g bacon
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 5mls dried ginger
  • 5mls dried sage
  • 5mls ground cumin
  • 5mls dried thyme
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • flour for dusting
  • 15g butter
  1. using a meat grinder, grind the pork and the bacon
  2. heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions
  3. set aside to cool
  4. add to the meat and season with salt and pepper
  5. add the spices and the egg
  6. combine all the ingredients well
  7. dust your hands with flour and shape the patties
  8. leave in the fridge for 30 minutes
  9. heat the butter in the pan you fried the onions in
  10. fry the patty on one side until sealed and flip once
  11. serve when cooked through

For conversions click here

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Recipe For Grape And Port Jelly

A few years ago, Dave and I woke up on Saturday morning to take a drive to Calitzdorp. This is the home of South African Port and we really felt like tasting some. So, we found a Bed and Breakfast, made a reservation, found someone to feed the dogs and packed our overnight bags. We headed up the pass and after lunch wound our way to a town that was closed! Not one Port establishment was open, the main road was deserted and we decided to move along. I called Michelle to see where in the Garden Route they were staying, with the thought of spending a night with her and my step gran, to be told “we are about to enter a town called Calitzdorp”. They stopped, and we had tea and Dave and I went to spend the night along the coast.

A few months ago, we decided to drive home from Wilderness via Calitzdorp and tasted some Port at 10am! It might have been a bit early, but at least we got to see the town when it was open. I came home with some pink Port and when I saw Woolworths had some pink grapes, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the grapes and the Port. I thought a nice, soft jelly would be perfect, not only for some blue cheese, but for a dessert topping too.

"Pink Grape And Pink Port Jelly"

Pink Grape And Pink Port Jelly

Pink Grape and Pink Port Jelly
  • 1 lemon
  • 225 grapes, including the stalks
  • 600mls water
  • 375g sugar - I used fructose
  • 50mls pink Port
  1. squeeze the lemon and set the juice aside
  2. chop up the peel and add it to a pan with the grapes and the water
  3. bring to the boil
  4. reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour
  5. strain through a chinois, gently pressing all the juice out of the grapes
  6. add the juice, the lemon juice, the sugar and the port into a pan
  7. cook over a low heat, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves
  8. bring to the boil and continue boiling until it reaches setting stage
  9. this should take about 20 minutes
  10. remove from the heat
  11. skim off any scum carefully using a slotted spoon
  12. pour into a warm sterilized glass jar
  13. place a wax paper disc, wax side down on the jelly
  14. seal with a lid and store in a dark, cool place for up to 3 months

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Galangal, not to be confused with ginger is also known as blue ginger, Siamese ginger and Thai ginger. Greater galangal is a rhizomatous perennial producing several 2m stalks with alternate sheathing leaves. The flowers are followed by red three-valved fruits. The white fleshed rhizomes have a characteristic spice and pine fragrance, and are widely used in Asian cooking. The flowers, flower buds and cardamom-scented red fruits are all edible.

Galangal requires warm temperate to subtropical conditions and grows best in rich, moist, well drained soils. It is an annual crop grown by seed or from rhizome segments. Cut them so that each segment contains one or two buds.

For fresh culinary use, dig up the rhizomes in late summer or early autumn. Store fresh galangal in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks. Dry the root about 10 months after planting. Store dried slices in an airtight container in a dry, dark place for 2 – 3 years.

Galangals’ flavour is similar to ginger’s but is not as strong. Use the rhizomes fresh, or in dried slices, with fish and in soups. Before using dried slices, soak them in hot water for 30 minutes. If you cannot find galangal substitute half the quantity in your recipe with grated fresh ginger.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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Mediterranean Pasta

There is something about the sea that draws me to it. We live 500m from the beach, and if we go away in South Africa, we usually go to a coastal town along the Garden Route. We have explored the beaches from right up the West Coast all the way along to Natal. My favourite stop is the Wilderness, where the sea really sings and the dolphins play. Our April holiday is always spent going to Europe. We are doing one city at a time, exploring and getting to see the ancient buildings and ruins. We have been to many interesting cities, but each visit is punctuated by a trip to the sea. We have explored the Mediterranean from the west coast to the east coast of Italy and come very close to it in France. We have made sure to take a day out when in Rome to head to the sea, and spent an entire holiday up and down the coastal region of Brittany. This pasta is inspired from the regional products of these areas and Spain – a country still on our list of places to go.

© mediterranean pasta

© mediterranean pasta



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, sliced

½ red pepper, sliced

50g mushrooms, sliced

1 Spanish sausage, cut in half and sliced

1/3 cup stock

10 olives, stoned and cut in half

salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

2 tablespoons cream

grated Parmesan and micro basil leaves for garnishing


while your pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan

sauté the onion and the garlic until soft

add the red pepper and the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft

add the red pepper and the stock and allow the stock to simmer

add the olives and season to taste

stir in the cream and toss the pasta in the sauce

serve with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese and the basil


I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Alisha of Cook.Craft.Enjoy


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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 7

I am in the process of moving my posts from my old blog to this one. This food quiz is one of them.

1. What is a Rémoulade?

similar to a tartar sauce

2. What is Daikon?

Japanese Radish

3. What is a Mangosteen?

Fruit – only ever seen it in Bali

4. Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable?


5. What is cilantro commonly known as?


"Cous Cous Salad With A Lime And Coriander Dressing"

Cous Cous Salad With A Lime And Coriander Dressing

6. What is Nori and what is it used for?

seaweed sheets used for making Sushi 

7. What is the hottest part of a chilli pepper?

differing opinions on this – the pith is actually the hottest, but some people believe it is the seeds. to make sure, remove both (I often cook with the chilli left whole and remove it before serving)

8. In which country are sculptures carved from radishes as part of the Christmas celebrations?


9. What does Tiramisu mean?

lift me up

10. What traditional English dish consists of sausages in batter?

toad in the hole

11. What are cêpes or cep also known as?


12. What is the main ingredient of taramasalata?


13. “Champignon” is the French word for which food?


14. What is the traditional flavour of a parkin cake?

ginger (thanks James Martin’s recipe book which I have read cover to cover)

15. How much does 200g uncooked rice weigh when it is cooked?

ha ha, I have never weighed my rice but if the Tastic advert is correct then 400g

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Recipe For Pickled Peppers

The upshot of living in a coastal village is that I can walk on the beach everyday, weather permitting. We live very far west in South Africa, which only has one time zone. So, the second plus is that the sun sets really late for us, and we can enjoy daylight up until 20h00 in summer. The down side is how the rules change during tourist season. We can walk our dogs along the dunes 11 months of the year, but now that the out of towners have arrived, this is not allowed. We have to pay for parking along the beachfront 11 months of the year, but with the influx of holiday makers, the fees have been waived. We pay rates and taxes and yet 11 months of the year we barely see a police car – and now, there is visible policing. We spend our money 11 months of the year buying fresh fish, but over season, the prices soar. Our local drinking spot is suddenly full, we cannot get a table, and even if we could, the lack of service would not be worth it. The restaurants have put their prices up for our wealthier neighbours from up North. So, for 1 month of the year, we are house bound. We watch our well spent income making the holiday makers happy – they have clean beaches, free parking and access to all the amenities we ensure are open for them by our support during the year. It saddens me that during my holiday I am better off at home, where the food is good and the view thankfully great. So, to keep me busy, this December that just passed has seen me in my kitchen every day. I have made my way through a lot of recipes I have wanted to try and this recipe for Pickled Peppers is another one I am sharing with you.

"Pickled Peppers"

Pickled Peppers

Pickled Peppers
  • 240g mixed peppers, cored, piths and seeds removed and sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 125g sugar – I used fructose
  • 150mls red wine vinegar
  • 2.5mls salt
  • 1 stalk rosemary
  • 1 white onion, cut in half and sliced
  1. place the peppers, red onion, sugar, vinegar, salt and rosemary into a heavy bottomed sauce pan
  2. bring to the boil and cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  3. remove the rosemary stalk, give the peppers a good stir and simmer for another 30 minutes
  4. add the white onion, stir the ingredients and continue to simmer with the lid off for 45 minutes
  5. Place into a sterilized glass jar
  6. and leave for 2 weeks before eating

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Recipe For Chicken Curry

I had some left over chicken breasts and decided I would make a stuffing of roasted red pepper with a tomato sauce. But, after a walk on the beach I really did not feel like the whole process and turned my mind to making a green curry. Alvin gave us a lovely recipe for a green curry paste and so in my usual fashion, I set about making it. So, why read the list of ingredients first? I mean, I never do, so why start now? Well, if I had all the ingredients, I would have made a green curry. But, I did not have lemongrass and so my green curry became a curry – and not a very strong one either as I used less chillies. I will add lemongrass to my shopping list so that I can make the curry paste to share with you. In the meantime, enjoy this dish – we certainly did :)

"Chicken Curry"

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 30mls coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5mls shrimp paste
  • 5mls ground cumin
  • 10mls coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 30mls fish sauce
  • 30mls canola oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 15mls lime juice
  • 400mls coconut cream
  • 60g asparagus, cut in half
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 80g exotic mushrooms, cut in half
  • 10 sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 15mls palm sugar
  • 15mls fish sauce
  • 30mls lime juice
  • 10 Thai basil leaves
  1. place the ingredients up to but not including the coconut cream into a blender
  2. process until all the ingredients have combined
  3. place into a pot and bring to a simmer
  4. add the coconut cream and bring back to a simmer
  5. add the bottom halves of the asparagus
  6. add the chicken breasts and simmer for 10 minutes
  7. add the rest of the asparagus, the mushrooms and the peas and bring back to a simmer
  8. add the palm sugar, the fish sauce and the lime juice
  9. stir in the Thai basil leaves
  10. serve on a bed of jasmine rice

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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Fennel plants are annual or perennial and can reach 1.5m or more, with one to several erect, hollow stems coming from the base and bearing fine, glossy aromatic pinnnate foliage. The tiny yellow flowers, borne in umbels, are used in pickling and the small seeds are very aromatic.

"Apple And Fennel Sauce"

Apple And Fennel Sauce


Fennel prefers a light, well drained slightly alkaline soil in a sunny position but is adaptable and tolerates the cold very well. Raise all fennel varieties by seed sown in spring. Propagate perennial forms by division in spring. Cut down and remove old stems. Harvest foliage and flowers as required. Harvest seeds when ripe then dry and freeze for a few days to kill any insects. Lift roots in autumn and dry them.

Slice the raw bulb thinly and add to salads, or cit in half and roast as a vegetable to bring out its sweetness. See here for a pan fried fennel recipe and here, for a cake recipe. Use fresh fennel leaves in salads, salad dressings and vinegars, with fish, pork and seafood dishes, or as a garnish. The dried seeds are used in cakes and breads, Italian sausages, salads, pickles, curries and pasta and tomato dishes.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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