In episode 7 of The Free Range Cook, Annabel helicopters in to spectacular Dusky Sound, New Zealand for a spot of fishing and crayfish is one the menu.
I just love this show and how much is packed into it. I love Annabel Langbein’s attitude to food and local produce, her positive personality and her generosity in sharing. Here’s her Crayfish Caesar Salad from her TV show.
Crayfish Caesar Salad.
Here’s Annabel Langbein’s upmarket adaptation of the classic Caesar Salad recipe. If you can’t source fresh crayfish, prawns make a fine substitute. Annabel says “To dispatch your crayfish humanly, put them in the freezer for 30 minutes.”
Prep time 10 mins
2-3 freshly cooked crayfish tails or 1-1.2kg prawn tails
2 large heads romaine or cos lettuce, leaves washed and dried
3 big handfuls (100g) Oven Baked Croutons (see page 211) or bought bagel crisps
50g shaved parmesan
1 recipe Creamy Seafood Dressing (see below)
If you’re using crayfish tails, remove the cooked flesh from the shells and cut it into chunks. If you’re using prawn tails, boil them in salted water, then peel and devein them.
When you’re ready to serve the salad, slice the lettuce leaves into 3-4cm wide slices. Cut or break the croutons or bagel crisps into pieces and place in a large serving bowl with lettuce, parmesan and crayfish or prawns. Add Creamy Seafood Dressing and toss to combine. Serve at once.
Creamy Seafood Dressing
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small frypan. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic and 4-5 canned anchovies and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute, mashing the anchovies to a paste. Add 1 cup cream, ½ cup finely grated parmesan and ground black pepper. Boil hard for 2 minutes until bubbles start to get big, which shows the sauce is thickening. Cool before using. This is a great dressing for any kind of seafood. Makes 1 cup.
Oven Baked Croutons
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut a French stick or country bread loaf on an angle into 2cm thick slices. Brush or spray both sides of each slice with a little extra virgin olive oil and spread onto an oven tray in a single layer. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Keep an eye on the bread as it can darken and burn quickly. Allow to cool. Croutons will keep for a couple of weeks if stored in an airtight container.
Not sure about you but I love the traditional caesar salad, and I’ve enjoyed the cafe common with chicken. This is a great twist – as is Annabel’s way – and update. And, now I can think of lot’s of seafood opportunities to explore too.
Now I’ve just been on a helicopter once, and in fact, it was on a trip to New Zealand with my mum. As part of a trip to Rotorua, it was the best way to hover into the volcanoes for a closer thermal look. It was one of many great holidays together. The helicopter ride was a great experience. Maybe, I’ll even hire one to go crayfishing sometime … Or maybe I just need the boat! Who else has been on a helicopter ride?