9 October 2007

The continuing story of the hunter, gatherer

particular delicacy, these are crayfish from the river. There are a number of different varieties, including;

T caught them the other day and they have been skulking in the freezer since then, waiting for me to deal with them. Personally, I like my crayfish shelled, heads and innards removed. T prefers to throw them in the pot and eat them as they are, in a 'nice broth', which he swears is, 'good for the body'.
When I summon up the enthusiasm to clean them, we will probably make fishcakes, see previous post Fishcake for the recipe, replacing titiree with the crayfish.

The reason the task of cooking and cleaning falls to me, follows the memorable occasion when T decided to 'treat' me to 'crayfishcakes,' as a surprise for when I came home from work.
I was a little dubious but delighted, when my plate was put in front of me, and there were perfectly cooked fishcakes, with no evidence of legs or whiskers. It was only upon biting into one, accompanied by a resounding audible crunch, that it became apparent that T had solved the arduous cleaning task by placing the whole lot in the blender.


  1. Hilarious! I prefer my seafood minus the crunchy bits, too. One summer we stayed on a lake full of crayfish. There was some manly crayfish diving to be had, then the misery of a 9 year old who was horrified that we were going to eat these cute little bottom dwellers. I think we have a future vegan in our midst.

  2. sounds tasty
    glad your back a week is a long time in blog land


  3. yuk..no shell or innards for me, thanks!

  4. Lol, T is ingenious, I do admire his creativity... though I doubt that I would eat his crawfish cakes. Frankly, there is no need to clean the crawfish and yet avoid eating the crunchy part. Both in Poland and especially in Sweden you throw LIVE crawfish (I was once a master of catching crawfish on my big toes... I remember I screamed a lot when a helper tried to remove them from there, lol... but usually you just use crawfish "baskets" to catch them) into a pot of boiling water (2 reasons: it is apparently the most humane way of killing them as they die instantenously and it is the best way to tell you which ones NOT to eat: if their tail remains uncurled) flawored with lots of dill. Then you chill them in that same pot, so they soak the flavot of dill and eat them using special utensils, braking up their claws, breaking them with something similar to a nutcracker (if you have one, if you don't there are other ways, which I happened to describe in my Crawfish party post on minervavelsangrona.wordpress.com) and remove the meat from them with a special slender crawfish fork. Then you break up the tail and remove the shell with a special crawfish knife and eat the meat. During a typical Swedish crawfish party you just enjoy it with a French baguette and a sharp, aged cheese + either wine or Swedish vodka. The best - albeit a bit barbarian ;-) - way of eating crawfish. Yummm and cheers!

  5. Aah, forgot to mention that my grandmother made a yummy crawfish soup... but she had kitchen help, who cleaned the crawfish (after they were boiled whole), sun dried some of the shells, them mortared them very finely, put in ararak. Made a broth and a tomato based soup with cream, spiced with the shell infused ararak and then meat from claws and whole tails was put into it. The soup, topped with a fresh dill was served with breadsticks and more ararak. Yummy, but darn labor intensive.

  6. Yes, Andrea, I'm of the vegetarian persuasion usually but 'when in Rome' and all that.
    Hi Darrel, sorry, the dog ate my homework.
    No, there was a moment there when I felt the blog was a bit trivial what with world events etc. but then realised how lucky I am to live somewhere where we can enjoy being trivial.
    Yes Jen, I know.
    Minerva, thank you for the wonderful recipes and advice, these crayfish are at best 4 inches long and usually about 2, are we eating the same thing? What's an ararak?

  7. Yes, we are eating the same thing, though larger ones are easier to eat, obviously. European, Turkish and now also Chinese (all varieties sold here by IKEA) ones are bigger, Louisiana ones are as small as yours. Ararak is a kind of booze, anis based, popular in Middle East. Can be replaced with any other anis based booze.

  8. Umm, I just remembered that ararak was my invented childhood name for arak. Sorry about that.

  9. That's fine Minerva,
    no need for apology, that's how I pronounce it when I've had more than two. I should have realised.


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