CRAYFISH ROLL

Serves 4.

Note: Make these sandwiches with leftover cooked crayfish. See below for how to cook them.

• 2 c. cooked crayfish tail and claw meat (10 ounces), from about 5 lb. crayfish (see Note)

• 1/2 c. mayonnaise

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tsp. sherry vinegar

• 1 tbsp. lemon juice

• 1/4 tsp. salt and more to taste

• 15 turns freshly ground black pepper

• 2 tbsp. minced fresh chives

• 2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon

• About 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, softened

• 4 hot dog buns

• Basil leaves, optional

Directions

Pick over the crayfish meat for bits of shell. Place the crayfish meat in the center of a clean dishcloth, gather up the corners, twist, and very gently squeeze to rid the crayfish of excess water. Put the crayfish in a bowl and chill.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, sherry vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chives and tarragon. Fold into the reserved crayfish meat, mixing to combine.

Split and generously butter the insides of four hot dog buns. Toast them butter-side-down in a skillet until dark golden brown.

Line the buns with a few basil leaves before spooning the crayfish salad into them. Serve immediately.

How to cook crayfish: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season it with enough salt to taste like seawater. Boil the crayfish in small batches, counting exactly 5 minutes from the time the water returns to a boil. Plunge them in ice water to cool. When chilled, drain and shell, removing the claw and tail meat. Keep the meat cold until needed.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 540 Fat 43

Sodium 660 mg Carbohydrates 23 g

Saturated fat 12 g Calcium 114 mg

Protein 16 g Cholesterol 135 mg

Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 11/2 bread/starch, 2 lean meat, 71/2 fat.


 

CRAYFISH BOIL

Serves 10.

• 1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), peeled and cut in half crosswise

• 12 quarts water

• 6 tbsp. salt (regular iodized)

• 3/4 c. sugar

• 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

• 1 orange, halved

• 1 lemon, halved

• 2 tbsp. coriander seeds

• 7 small dried hot red chiles

• 1 tbsp. black peppercorns

• 6 bay leaves

• 2 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds

• 11/2 lb. new red potatoes (about 15)

• 2 lb. andouille sausage

• 5 cobs of fresh corn, shucked and snapped into thirds

• 10 lb. live freshwater crayfish

• 4 heads fresh dill

• Lemon wedges, for garnish

• Spicy mayonnaise, for dipping

Directions

Line the bottom of a cast iron skillet with a layer of aluminum foil. Turn the heat to medium and lay the cut sides of the onion face-down on the foil. Cook until the undersides are blackened, about 30 minutes. Cool before peeling off foil.

Fill a large (5-gallon) pot with 12 quarts water and bring to a boil. Add the salt, sugar, onion, garlic, orange and lemon halves, coriander, chiles, peppercorns, bay leaves, mustard seeds and potatoes. Simmer about 25 minutes, or until potatoes are almost tender.

Add the andouille sausage and cook about 10 minutes. Add the corn, crayfish and dill, dunking the crayfish down into the water to submerge them. Cover the pot; when the pot comes back to a boil, cook exactly 5 minutes.

With a large strainer, lift everything from the pot onto a butcher- or freezer-paper covered picnic table. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges and a spicy mayonnaise.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 490 Fat 27 g

Sodium 1,290 mg Carbohydrates 28 g

Saturated fat 9 g Calcium 76 mg

Protein 33 g Cholesterol 180 mg

Dietary fiber.............................4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 4 medium-fat meat, 11/2 fat.


MINNESOTA PAELLA

Serves 6 to 8.

• 1 (4-lb.) chicken

• Salt

• 1 dozen live crayfish, each about 4-in. long

• 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 lb. sausage (about 5) soft chorizo, andouille, or even kielbasa

• 1 red pepper (8 oz.), diced

• 1 large Vidalia onion (14 oz.), diced

• 1 large tomato (9 oz.), diced

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 8 oz. fresh green beans, washed, trimmed and cut in half

• 1 (8.5-oz.) can baby artichoke hearts, drained and each cut in half

• 3/4 tsp. paprika

• Pinch saffron threads, crumbled

• 21/2 c. short-grained paella rice, such as Spanish bomba or calasparra rice, or arborio)

• 71/2 c. chicken stock

•15 turns freshly cracked black pepper, divided

• Lemon wedges, for garnish

Directions

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, and then cut breasts in half and the wings in half at the joint. (If you want to make your own chicken stock, use the discarded back and wing tips, along with some extra wings or legs.)

Bring a 3-quart saucepan of water to a boil. Season with salt until it tastes like seawater. Add the crayfish, dunking them down in the water to submerge them. Blanch until they all turn bright red, about 30 seconds. Drain and submerge in ice water until cold. Drain and refrigerate.

Preheat a large (16-inch diameter or larger) iron skillet or paella pan over a campfire with a large bed of coals.

Season the chicken lightly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the olive oil to the pan and when hot, the chicken pieces. Brown on both sides over high heat. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Add the sausage, brown on both sides and remove. Add the red pepper, onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables have softened and begun to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the tomato and cook another 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add beans, artichokes, paprika, saffron and rice and cook until the oil coats the rice completely. Add the chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon salt and about 15 twists of freshly cracked black pepper. Taste for seasoning at this point and add more salt and pepper as needed. Nestle the chicken pieces and sausages (except the breast pieces) into the rice.

Simmer over medium heat until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the chicken breast pieces and the crayfish and cook another 10 minutes. Cover with a towel or aluminum foil and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and has begun to caramelize and brown, but not burn, on the bottom of the pan. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving right from the pan accompanied by lemon wedges.

Nutrition information per serving of 8:

Calories 930 Fat 51 g

Sodium 1,160 mg Carbohydrates 62 g

Saturated fat 14 g Calcium 89 mg

Protein 55 g Cholesterol 165 mg

Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, 6 medium-fat meat, 4 fat.