Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Marple Food and Drink Festival and Crayfish

On Saturday, Tim was helping out the Marple Band at what we thought was a random gig, but it turned out to be at the Marple Food and Drink Festival. Bonus! I went along to support the band and also to see what was going on.


It was the Food and Drink day of the festival and the precinct was full of various stalls, many from local business, but notably including Marple Allotments Association. A stall which I gathered useful information about my lack of home grown tomatoes as well as some rather exciting and still muddy red Swiss Chard. Something that we've never cooked before.
I spent quite a bit of money while the band were playing, on various veg, gluten free brownies (because I can!) and a bottle of interesting Prosecco. But my main ingredient that I was excited about was Crayfish tails.

I'd spotted a recipe on The Recipe Chef, via facebook which I quite fancied, but never actually got round to hunting out some crayfish tails. So here they were, in little pots on the fishmonger's stand, begging to be bought. I couldn't remember the quantities from the recipe so bought a pot of prawns too. If there were too many, I'd just eat them as they were.

I kind of followed the recipe but not entirely, and looking at it now, I realise I ate the sauce which was meant for 2 people, but only with the pasta for one!

I started by chopping up the two and only tomatoes we had into chunks. These were supposed to be cherry tomatoes, but I did chop them to approximately cherry tomatoes if that counts? And started preparing the red pepper as suggested. This involved putting it in the microwave with a splash of water for a couple of minutes. At the end of the time I thought the microwave was going to explode, or the pepper would be on fire, but all was well. This too was chopped up, added to the tomatoes and put in the oven (200C) with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a chopped clove of garlic for about 20 mins.

Meanwhile I put on some gluten free spaghetti to cook.

Once out of the oven, the sauce is mashed down in a pan, then the crayfish (and prawns) were added and the whole sauce heated through.

The sauce is mixed with the cooked pasta and I added a few torn basil leaves (the recipe said to cook the tomatoes with dried basil, but we didn't have any) and a drizzle of olive oil.
The dish was lovely. One of my favourites actually. And I will be making it again and again. If I can find crayfish tails that is. The guys at The Recipe Chef commented about the meatiness of the crayfish tails compared to prawns, but I've previously not had the opportunity to actually compare them in the same dish I didn't really expect much meatiness to be obvious, but there was quite a big difference. The crayfish also added so much more of a lovely fishy flavour to the dish.
Perhaps I've not been looking that closely, but it doesn't seem that our supermarkets have any crayfish, and with the absence of any fishmonger that I can see in the area, my hunt may be a long one.

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