Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Soft Shelled Crayfish


No it is not a typo in that headline. Crayfish molt like any other crustacean, and some good folks in Louisiana have perfected a system to harvest and package them at just the right moment. Production is very limited, and most of these little lovelies never get to travel very far before the local restaurants snatch them up. I was able to purchase a good supply for the New York market, and a few of my customers have decided to menu them this spring. I took a couple dozen home to try them for myself and I have to say they make eating crayfish pure pleasure. I just dusted them with flour that had been seasoned with a bit of Old Bay and fried them in vegetable oil. When cooked they turn from dark brown to cherry red in the flash of an eye. I served mine with an impromptu remoulade of mayo, capers, cornichon, and coarse grain mustard. The possibilities are endless with these bayou beauties. They would be great with tempura or panko, and in a po boy to die for. The greatest thing to me though, was the fact that after eating a half dozen or so I had a new appreciation for the mud bug. How many times before had I sat to eat the old stand by of boiled crawfish only to find myself filled with hunger even after consuming what seemed like vast amounts?

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