Crayfish cocktail

Served in a jam jar, Aaron Crazes crayfish cocktail can be transported easily making it perfect for a picnic, or layered up in glasses for a retro dinner-party starter
By Aaron Craze
Crayfish cocktail
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the crayfish

  • 1 kg live crayfish
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only

For the marie rose sauce

  • 1 kg cherry tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-3 tsp sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 6 drops tabasco, or to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste

To serve

  • 1 iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cut into thin wedges

Method

1. For the crayfish: an hour before you start to cook, place the crayfish in the freezer.

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Working in batches, drop the crayfish into the water and cover with a lid. Boil for 2 minutes, until cooked through, then remove from the water and allow to cool.

3. Once cool enough to handle, peel the crayfish and remove the tail meat. Thread the tail meat onto skewers, putting five on each and dip them in a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice, turning to coat.

4. Heat a griddle pan until smoking (or light the barbecue) and grill the tails until lightly browned, about 1 minute on each side. Leave to cool.

5. For the marie rose sauce: heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute so they start to break down before adding the red wine vinegar and sugar. Cook for another 5-6 minutes, then mash the tomatoes with a fork or potato masher. Add 100ml water and gently simmer the mixture for 25 minutes over a low heat, or until you have a thick tomato sauce. Taste, adding a little more sugar if desired, then leave to cool. At this stage you can either pass the cooled sauce through a sieve to make it smooth, or leave it chunky.

6. Put the mayonnaise in a medium bowl and add the freshly made tomato sauce to taste. Stir in the smoked paprika, then add the Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces and salt and pepper to taste.

7. Dress the shredded lettuce with the lemon juice. Take a jam jar and place a spoonful of sauce in the bottom. Pile in some lettuce, then some more sauce. Add five crayfish and top with some avocado. Add another dollop of sauce, some more lettuce, and finish with a skewer of crayfish and a few pieces of avocado. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra smoked paprika and serve.

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