Garlic-crusted Crayfish Tails
Caribbean crayfish are enormous by U.S. mainland standards, but there are many substitutions: Maine or spiny lobster tails, or even very large prawns. The dish works well with any of these, and makes a pretty presentation. The ragout itself wold also be good as an accompaniment to fish.
- Caribbean Crayfish Tails, - 6, whole (alt. spiny lobster tails, Maine lobster tails, or jumbo prawns)
- Extra-virgin olive oil - 4 tablespoons
- Flour - for dusting
- Garlic - 4 tablespoons, minced
- Potato-White Bean Ragout
- Potatoes - 2, medium, cut into large dice
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Shallots - 4, diced
- Curry powder - 1/8 teaspoon
- White Beans - 1 cup, cooked
- Chicken Stock - 4 tablespoons
- Celery Root Sauce
- Unsalted Butter - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Celery Root - 1/2, diced
- All-Purpose Flour - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Celery Seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Milk - 1 cup
- Fresh Parsley - 1 sprig
To prepare the crayfish: Preheat the oven to 425F. Lay the tails flat on a cutting board and split. Place a large, sharp knife along the center of the tail, with the point of the knife just short of the tail fins, and strike the knife with a mallet or other heavy object. Lift the split shells off the tail meat, leaving the meat attached to the tail fins. Discard the shells, or save for use in stock for another dish. Season the tails with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little of the olive oil, and dust lightly with flour, shaking off the excess. In a large ovenproof saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat and place the tails and garlic in the pan. Sear on one side, then turn and sear again, about 30 seconds per side. Place in the oven for about 3 minutes to finish cooking.
To make the ragout: Place the potato cubes in cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain immediately. In a medium saute pan heat the olive oil and saute the shallots over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir in the curry powder, white beans, and chicken stock. Gently stir in the potato cubes. Keep warm.
To make the celery root sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the celery root until softened. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds; do not allow it to brown. Whisk in the celery seeds and seasoning. Whisk in the milk, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking slowly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and toss gently to coat.
To serve: Place a ring mold on each serving plate and fill with ragout, pressing the ragout slightly to bind. Spoon sauce around the plate outside the ring mold. Remove the mold by lifting directly upward. Place 3 crayfish tails over each vegetable ragout ring and garnish with parsley.