Blue Crawfish
Blue Crawfish
Maccrone, Suzanne
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La Belle Cuisine - More Appetizer Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create an act of integrity, and faith."


La salade d'écrevisses en sauce crème
Crayfish [Crawfish] Salad with Cream Sauce



"Cooking is at once one of the simplest and most gratifying of the arts,
but to cook well one must love and respect food."

~ Craig Claiborne

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  The Crayfish
The Crayfish
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La salade d’écrevisses en sauce crème
Crayfish [Crawfish] Salad with Cream Sauce

Roger Verge's New Entertaining in the French Style
Roger Verge's New Entertaining in the French Style

by Roger Vergé, 1996, Stwart, Tabori & Chang

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Ease: Moderate
Cost: Expensive
Yield: 6 servings

2 medium cucumbers
Coarse salt
1 bouquet garni: 3-4 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme,
1 large bunch dill or tarragon, tied together
4 1/2 – 5 1/2 pounds (2-2.5 kg) crayfish [crawfish] or
4 1/2 pounds (2 kg) lobsterettes (langoustines) or large shrimp
1 carrot
1 small onion
3/4 ounce (20 g) celery
3/4 ounce (20 g) shallots
8 tablespoons dry white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 1/2 ounces (125 g) yogurt, well chilled
1 tablespoon crème fraîche (or heavy cream), well chilled
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped dill
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped chervil
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

3 or 4 hours in advance: Peel the cucumbers and slice them thinly. Sprinkle the slices with 2 teaspoons fine sea salt and set aside to degorge. When their water has been rendered, rinse them with cold water and drain well.
In a casserole, heat 1 1/2 gallons (6 liters) water with 3 tablespoons coarse salt and the bouquet garni. At first boil, add the crayfish. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for the crayfish to cool in their cooking liquid.
Meanwhile prepare the nage. Very finely slice the carrots, onion, celery, and shallots, In a saucepan, heat 8 tablespoon of water, the white wine, salt, and pepper. At first boil, add the vegetables. When the water comes back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. After cooking, store the bouillon and vegetables in the refrigerator.
20 minutes before serving:
Combine the chilled bouillon and vegetables with the yogurt and crème fraîche (or cream); add salt and pepper to taste.
Shell the crayfish, set aside 6 heads for the presentation. Combine the crayfish tails, cucumbers, dill, chervil, and the sauce. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. Divide the salad among six chilled bowls. Sprinkle with chopped egg and decorate each serving with a crayfish head.

Improvise! I sometimes replace the dill with the same quantity of chopped tarragon.

Wine suggestions: …uncork a dry white Bordeaux, a Graves appellation.
Serve at 46-50 degrees F (8-10 degrees C).

[Note: The photograph of the salad in the cookbook shows the salads presented in large wine glasses – perfect for a first course. The photography (by Pierre Hussenot) in this beautiful book is nothing short of phenomenal.]

Featured Archive Recipe:
Crab with Ravigote Sauce


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