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Fish and Shellfish, Mains, Quick and Easy

Crayfish feast (Kraftor)

Crayfish feast (Kraftor)
Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles Times

Everyone has found a perch in the sprawling backyard -- under the bright-fuchsia bougainvilleas dangling off the sycamore tree, next to the slate pool tucked behind the wooden fence, at the roomy patio table by the French doors -- but ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 6
  • 6 pounds live crayfish, rinsed (discard dead ones)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Large bunch of fresh dill, tied in a bundle
  • 1 whole carrot, peeled
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, clarified
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into very thin rounds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh dill (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges (for garnish)

Step 1Pour enough water into a large stockpot to cover the crayfish. Add the salt, sugar, dill, carrot and celery. Over high heat, bring to a boil.

Step 2Add the crayfish; cover and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the crayfish have turned red, about 10 minutes total from the time they are put in the pot. Pull off a tail to check for doneness. Drain; discard the vegetables and allow the crayfish to cool.

Step 3Combine the butter with the jalapeno and cilantro, if desired, and divide it among dipping bowls.

Step 4Transfer the crayfish to a serving platter and garnish with additional dill and lemon wedges. Serve with the butter sauce for dipping.

Note: From "The Swedish Table" by Helene Henderson. For the dipping sauce, you can squeeze the juice of one lemon into clarified butter instead of serving with lemon wedges.

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