Crayfish, Pasta, Egg

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I’ve done it again. I just can’t stay away from those crayfish. This time my boy Matt Hulet came down and shot some pics. I told him I was cooking some food but he had no idea we were gonna have to catch it…

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…Very Tom Sawyer, according to Matt…

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This last photo is simply to showcase Matt’s amazing photography skills. Check him out at www.matthuletphotography.wordpress.com

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They were a feisty bunch. It took much longer than I anticipated to catch them. We were there around noon, which I think is probably the worst time of day to try and catch crayfish.

The idea behind the dish was to do them ‘Szechuan Style’. This basically mean’s throwing them into a hot pan while they are alive and serving them whole. I changed up the recipe by using hibiscus tea and harissa instead of soy.

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I started by chopping ginger and shallots.

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Straining the hibiscus tea.

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Egg and Scallion. The egg was fried in a nonstick pan and cut with a circle cutter.

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The pan was heated, oil was added, and the crayfish met their demise. The crayfish were left in several batches of clean water so that they would purge any dirt and impurities. Before dropping them into the pan I submerged them in ice water as I do with all crustaceans in order to kill them in the most humane manner. The ice water puts them into a sort of coma. The tea, ginger, shallots, and harissa were then added to the pan.

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Beautifully cooked crayfish.

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The crayfish are put on the plate whole and left for the diner to crack into. The sauce on the side is what was left from the pan that the crayfish were cooked in. I used orzo pasta where rice would typically be used in this dish. The egg was simply fried in olive oil and cut down to size. I finished the dish with sliced scallions. This dish is a play on what is typically an asian dish. The sauce and orzo make it a bit whimsical. This whole dish, once we caught the crayfish, took about 30 minutes to make. Proof that it’s not difficult to make great food at home.

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