Crayfish with horseradish sauce
Buying free-range meat is an ethical choice so the Christmas treats on my menu this season include New Zealand farm-raised pork and turkey sourced from farms ‘down by the Southern Alps’. The venison isn’t totally free-range — meaning wild. It comes from deer that roam happily in their clean green pastures in Hawke’s Bay. And the crayfish that freely wander our sea floors would have some cooks arguing its flesh is not meat. But they haven't seen the meaty-sized cray in my freezer. It is definitely a festive dish.
To prepare a live cray, the kindest way is to chill it to between two and four degrees Celcius until it is well and truly asleep. Then with a sharp instrument, spike it between the eyes or in the chest. Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring it to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the crayfish and cook for about 10 minutes, until the shell turns orange. Remove and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. When cold, drain again and store the crayfish in the refrigerator, until ready to use. The meat of cooked crayfish deteriorates when kept frozen for too long — freeze them raw.
|2 Tbsp||Creamed horseradish|
|3 Tbsp||White wine|
|1 pinch||Cayenne pepper|
- To make the sauce, heat the milk to just below boiling point. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low and stir in the flour. Stir in the horseradish cream. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the warm milk. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously, until thickened. Stir in the wine, salt, cayenne and egg yolk. Heat through but do not boil.
- To prepare the crayfish, use a sharp, heavy knife and halve the crayfish down the centre back. Ensure the feelers are not damaged. Remove the meat and pull out the 'vein'. Discard the mustard-coloured substance from the body, wash the shells and place on a baking tray. Break up the meat and add to the sauce and warm through gently.
- Place back into the shells and sprinkle with the combined topping ingredients, Cover the feelers and tails with foil so that they do not burn under the grill.
- Preheat the grill. Cook the crayfish for about 7 minutes, until the crumbs are golden.
- Great served with lime or lemon wedges.