OTAGO FARMERS MARKET - 12 September 2010

HOW TO COOK THE PERFECT CRAYFISH, linguine with crayfish, potato and fennel bake, raspberry fool ....

CRAYFISH - How to cook the perfect Cray?
300 - 400g crayfish
Ideally seawater is best to cook crayfish in as it will give a far superior flavour. But if you are not in the mood to run down to the sea side with a bucket to fetch your water then heavily salted water will be acceptable!

Bring a good size pot of seawater or salted water to the boil. When boiling, carefully plunge your dead crayfish into the water. Boil for 5 minutes only (if larger add another minute or two), remove immediately and plunge into iced or cold water to stop cooking immediately. Only leave the crayfish in the cold water for a couple of minutes as you don’t want to loose any more flavour. Enjoy!


Serves 4
455g dried or fresh linguine - pasta d’oro
Olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1-2 dried red chillies, crumbled
1 cooked crayfish - Edmonds fish
Drop of Thai fish sauce (optional)
2 lemons
1 good handful of parsley roughly chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper

Remove the flesh from crayfish, and cut into good size chunks.
Cook your linguine in boiling salted water until al dente (firm to the bite).
Meanwhile, get a good size fry pan and add a good glug or two of olive oil, add your garlic, some lemon zest and the chilli flakes. Heat gently as you don’t want the garlic to burn, you are trying to infuse the oil. Add the crayfish and warm through - you do not want to over cook it, be gentle! Add the juice from 1 lemon and a few drops of the fish sauce. Drain the linguine and add immediately to your crayfish, season with freshly cracked pepper and sea salt, scatter over your parsley and toss well to combine. Taste and correct the lemon, or seasoning if needed.
Serve straight away - this does not need parmesan cheese it just needs a lovely crisp green salad and perhaps some market fresh bread to mop up the juices!

FENNEL - I could make a different dish a day with the many uses of this crunchy, aniseed flavoured bulb. The leaves are feathery light and add a delicious accompaniment to a salad, soup or chopped and scattered over fish. Fennel is the perfect partner with pork and it loves crayfish.

Fennel mayonnaise - serves 8
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
250 ml extra virgin olive oil
250 ml olive oil or good quality oil
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper
Good handful fresh fennel leaves, roughly chopped

With a little salt, smash the garlic to a paste. Whisk the egg yolks and mustard together (you can use a food processor), in a bowl then slowly start to add the olive oil bit by bit - using two different types of oils will give it a more mellow flavour as pure extra virgin olive oil is a little too strong and peppery. Once you’ve blended in a quarter of the oil, start to add the rest in a more consistent stream. Add the garlic, lemon juice and fennel leaves and season to taste, adding more lemon or salt etc to get the right balance. Really delicious with fish, crayfish or cold roast pork!


Enough for 6

1kg waxy potatoes
2 large cloves garlic
2-3 fennel bulbs, and leaves of 1
Butter - just enough to butter the baking dish thickly
600ml cream
Good grating of parmesan cheese

Set the oven 160`C
Bring a good size pot of salted water to the boil. Prepare the fennel bulbs by removing the leaves as close to the bulb as possible. Remove any tough outer leaves of the bulb. Cut in half length ways, cut into wedges by cutting through the core of the bulb as this will keep the wedges together. Cook in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes until the fennel is tender. Drain.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into slice about the thickness of a dollar coin. Add them to a bowl with the cooked fennel. Roughly chopped the leaves from 1 fennel bulb and add to the potatoes. Add the cream and season well, with plenty of cracked black pepper. Add a generous amount of grated parmesan and mix to combine. Cut the cloves of garlic in half and rub them round the inside of the oven dish. Smear over the butter generously and add the potatoes and fennel with all the liquid. Pat down a little and scatter over a little more cheese and bake until bubbling and golden - about 1 hour.
Serve along side the crayfish, fish or roast pork!

Serves 8
450g fresh or frozen raspberries
175g caster sugar
450 ml cream
Icing sugar for dusting

For the sponge cake
3 medium eggs, at room temperature
90g caster sugar
90g plain flour
40g butter, melted

For the sponge cake, preheat the oven 190`C
Lightly grease a deep, 20cm sandwich cake tin with butter, then line the base with a circle of greaseproof paper and grease once more. Add 1 teaspoon each of caster sugar and flour and shake around the tin to coat the sides. Tap out excess.
Break the eggs into a large heatproof bowl, add the sugar and rest the bowl over a pot of just simmering water, ensuring the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl! Whisk either by hand or an electric whisk until the mixture is very thick and moussey and leaves a trail behind when drizzled over the surface. Lift the bowl of the water and cool slightly. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold through very gently. Fold in the melted butter and pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool.
For the raspberry fool, put the fresh or frozen raspberries, with the sugar into a pan cook over a gentle heat for 3-5 minutes or until the berries just burst. Leave to cool, puree ¾ of the fruit and stir back into the remaining berries.
Put the cream into a large serving bowl and whip to soft peaks, gently fold through the raspberries so that the cream and fruits are just combined. Cover and chill.
Preheat the grill or a griddle pan until hot. Cut the sponge into small, thin wedges and lightly toast on each side. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a large, lushes dollop of raspberry fool.