Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Crayfish in Scallop Sauce

Ok, so I know crayfish is a little outside of most of our budgets, especially ours, but every now and then my friend Julianne knocks on my door with a couple of crayfish and this recipe always comes to my mind. If you do not have access to crays, or the budget for them, you can use fish instead and it will be absolutely delicious!

CrayfishI always have a lot of requests for this recipe, and I made a promise to Anne at The Fresh Market that it would be in my column this week.  Next week I will share my magnificent, no fail, perfect chocolate cake that gets better with age.

A Bordelaise sauce, as you can tell from the name, originates in French cuisine. It has been adapted to New Orleans Creole style cooking, and I guess I have adapted it again, to a Kiwi style Bordelaise. The original sauce is made with wine from Bordeaux and contained dry red wine, bone marrow, butter, shallots, fresh herbs and a demi-glase; it was most often served with beef. 

The Creole style sauce has a garlic base, instead of wine and  marrow and also contains butter, shallots, herbs and stock. My own Kiwi-style Bordelaise is a combination of them both; I think the wine adds something special to the recipe and so there is a good glug of it. This Kiwi-style Bordelaise can be used for red or white meat; you just change the wine, stock and the herbs to suit. For red meat use a Cabernet with beef stock, thyme and a bay leaf; for chicken, use a Riesling with chicken stock and some whole grain mustard.

 Any variations on that theme will work and you now have the basis for a great sauce for any meal. When you are cooking with wine there is one important rule: If it is not good enough to drink, it is not good enough to cook with.

Kia makona, Mawera x

¼  cup minced shallots
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
Cooked meat from a medium sized crayfish, and the equivalent in prawns. If you have no crayfish, any white fish will do, or you could just use lots of prawns.
150-200gms scallops (the small, sweet ones are best)
2 teaspoons of Made by Mawera ‘Big Red’ seasoning  (from The Fresh Market or Hunting and Fishing)
3/4 c a good, dry reisling
2 tablespoons cognac
½ cup fish stock (low salt)
½  teaspoon salt
¼  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced tomatoes
200gms cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon lots
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, including the tops
1 teaspoon fish sauce (add to taste – it is salty)
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves  (dry is ok to use, too)

In a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, 2 minutes.

Add the crayfish, scallops, prawns and Big Red seasoning and cook, stirring, until the scallops turn opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the seafood and set aside – leave the juices in the pan.

Add the wine and cognac and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by 1/2. Add the fish stock, salt, and cayenne, and cook until reduced by 1/2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.

 Whisk in the remaining nobs of butter 1 lot at a time, adding the next piece before the previous one is completely incorporated, being careful not to let the sauce get too hot and break.

Add the green onions, parsley, and tarragon and stir. Return the seafood and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook, stirring until heated through. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning. Add fish sauce a few drops at a time, to taste.

Gently mix the sauce through spaghetti and serve on a large platter with crusty bread for mopping up all the delicious sauce.

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