Friday, 12 October 2007
One of the wonderful things about living where I do, is the access to Crown Land. You can harvest mushroom, wild nettles, fish in dams and creeks, hunt and forage to your hearts content!!
Recently Furry and Master 12.5 discovered a dam on Crown Land, down near Chez Fur de Mer. We bought a yabby net, and last weekend my intrepid duo set off to catch me some yabbies.
They were beyond successful, returning home with seven yabbies at least 6 inches long!! The key to cooking yabbies, or any caught shellfish is to let them fast and clean themselves out. What you have to so is put them in the bath for 24 hours to "purge". Some people add carrot or lettuce to hasten the process of cleaning out the digestive tract, but I find that a goodly 24 hours in fresh clean water, changing it every couple of hours or so, does the trick.
Now, I tried to get some photos to show the size of these beauties, but the little buggers kept swimming around.. but heres not a bad one to show you the size and the colour of them, pre cooking...
Notice the "fuzz" on the legs and thorax of a yabby this large. This is pond scum and you DO NOT WANT THIS IN YOUR FINAL DISH, which is why you kill them and then segment the body, discarding the fluffy bits.
The smaller yabbies in the corner of this photo are white yabbies.. ones that have recently discarded their too-small shells. They don't have pond scum on them and can be added to the dish whole.
Kill the yabbies by bringing a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil and dropping the yabbies in quickly, one by one. Too many yabbies at the one time cools the water off and it's just not humane..
I killed the yabbies big ones first, one at a time, removing the yabby from the boiling water as soon as it had changed colour to pink. The large ones I removed the head and thorax, and also the hind legs and ran the remaining edible pieces under cold water to flush.
The smaller ones I left whole.
In a large cast iron pan heat 1/4 stick of butter, 1/2 a red onion very finely chopped and 3 large cloves of garlic, also finely chopped.
Bring butter to sizzling point, add the onions and the garlic, toss until onions are glassy and add the yabby bits.
toss the yabbies in the butter until well coated and a goodly shade of red..
Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime, on parpadelle, if you like!!