Crayfish, especially when it had "thermidor" as a description, was one of the go-to's on a restaurant menu in the 70's and 80's. For Chef Eric, the memories about this dish are more personal:
"On family holidays to the Cape's West Coast as a child, I remember this as my favourite dish. My dad made the most of the fresh crayfish from the cold Atlantic Ocean and treated the family to a special brunch adding an opulent sauce to this delicacy. What's not to love?! "
La Motte Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche recommends enjoying a glass of the 2018 La Motte Chardonnay with this dish. The elegant fruit and creamy texture of the wine beautifully complements the luxurious flavours of the crayfish thermidor.
These days, however, we only use crayfish from the East Coast as these are the only ones on the Sassi Green list. East coast spiny lobsters are collected by hand and using baited lures, sometimes with hooks (also known as polling).
1 kg crayfish, cooked
20 g Grana Padano, grated
For the sauce
50 g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
300 ml fish stock
60 ml white wine
120 ml cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
10 g parsley, chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
200 g button mushrooms
100 g cocktail tomatoes
80 g crème fraiche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven grill to a medium heat.
Cut the crayfish in half and remove the meat from the tail. Chop into medium sized pieces.
Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Add the onion and sweat until softened. Add mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, wine and cream and bring to the boil. Reduce by half, stirring occasionally. Stir in the crème fraiche and add tomatoes, mustard, herbs and lemon juice. Season to taste.
Place the crayfish meat in a ceramic serving crock and cover with the cream sauce. Sprinkle the cheese and gratinate for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with some buttered toast and a few fried eggs.
Enjoy the luxurious combination of seafood and cheese with the 2018 La Motte Chardonnay.