Thursday, November 27, 2008

Summer's Coming...And it's Best Enjoyed with Fresh Seafood!

Well, summer's almost here (three days, and counting!) so I thought I'd share a couple of my favourite summer recipes with you... Aussie crayfish is always a favourite and this dish, laden with citrus as it is, really brings out its best flavours. I've also added a nice Asian lime dressing - it's so easy and is a great match for most summer seafoods. I've paired it with oysters here, but it's also make a nice dressing for a summer salad or ceviche.

Grilled King Island crayfish and summer citrus salad

One crayfish (approx 500g per person)
1 x lime
1 x orange
1 x ruby red grapefruit
1 x lemon
1 x mandarin
1 x blood orange
1 bunch watercress
Medium-sized witlof (red or yellow)
Mixed fresh herbs: your choice of chervil, tarragon, chives, parsley or dill
1 fennel bulb (shaved finely)

75ml mixed citrus juice
200ml quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar

Split crayfish lengthways using a long sharp knife. Remove the "inners tube" and rinse crayfish clean. Brush the meat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on a char grill or directly onto the BBQ. Cook for approx 7-8 mins, turn and cook shell side down until meat comes away easily from the shell when touched. The flesh should be slightly opaque at the thickest point – you want it cooked to "medium" not overcooked or dry. In a bowl, combine citrus segments, picked herbs, shaved fennel and witlof dress. Dress with citrus vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:
Place 1/2 a crayfish per person, flesh side up on a large plate
Place citrus salad into head cavity and drizzle the remaining citrus and olive oil dressing directly over flesh. Garnish with a lemon or lime cheek.

Fresh shucked oysters with Asian lime dressing

3 limes; juiced
150ml peanut oil
25ml Mirin
30ml rice wine vinegar
30ml good light soy sauce
Knob grated ginger

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until combined. Drizzle over oysters and garnish with fried shallots and freshly chopped coriander.

Our Sommelier, Tim Cohen, tells me these dishes are best enjoyed with a zingy Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Gris.