Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Norway Lobsters

This weekend I visited the South Eastern coast of Norway, and during our brief visit we drove down to Kristiansand, the largest city along this coastline, and here we visited the local fish market. There they were, the most wonderful Norway Lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) waiting for us, and we bought four, just to enjoy - and we did.

If you wonder how do you serve these beautiful creatures, there are many options. If you choose to heat these precooked crayfish, do remember to be careful, as overcooked they will be very tough. I have prepared them hot, after I have cut them in half, and brushed them with garlic butter and parsley, or pesto, garlic and parmeggiano and baked them in the oven until the liquid bubbled.

I, however, find them best in natura, meaning cold. Peel the tail, as you would a lobster or a prawn. Here you'll find most of the meat, crack the claws carefully with a nutcracker. Cut the tail and the claw meat in slices or pieces, spread on a toasted slice of ciabatta. Add a couple of white asparagus, lemon juice and a good squeeze of Hellman's mayonnaise. Great stuff.

And if you do this at home, do not throw away the shells. They are full of taste, and ideal for the most exquisite stock, to use in sauces or soups. Put the shells in a large pan, pour over water, add salt, pepper, dill, alternatively one or two stock cubes and allow to boil for twenty minutes to extract all the lobster taste. You may use it immediately in a fish soup or freeze down in smaller containers to use later.


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