Inspired by visits to France, I made lobster provencale.
I mistakenly did not close the freezer door properly, and ended up defrosting the entire contents. We keep some crayfish tails in the freezer so that out of season we can still enjoy the fruits of Dave’s labour. I paged through my Lobster cook book and this is the recipe we chose, Lobster Provencale. This shellfish that we get here is nothing like what you see overseas. There is no huge claw and one could say that it looks similar to a large prawn. We call them crayfish which is not to be confused with crawfish which you find in New Orleans. This shellfish comes from the coastal areas in False Bay. We fish for them using nets – diving with tanks is not permitted. And even if it was, the great white sharks would scare me off.
How to catch
We drop nets down into the kelp beds and tied to the nets will be fish heads. They need to be fresh so that the crayfish want to eat them. After a short break we go back and lift the nets out of the water.
- 60 g butter
- 5 mls freshly crushed garlic
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 tin tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- pinch of saffron
- 3 crayfish tails, out the shell, chopped into large chunks
- 60 mls Brandy
- rice to serve
- fresh chives, chopped - to garnish
- lemon wedges - to garnish
- melt the butter in a sauté pan over a moderate heat
- add the garlic, spring onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper and saffron
- cook until the spring onions are translucent
- add the crayfish and cook until nearly done
- flambé with the Brandy
- cook gently until the crayfish are heated through
- place the rice on the plate, add the chives, then the crayfish, spoon over some sauce and serve with the lemon wedge