It’s a happy day when your mother arrives for a long-anticipated holiday in Cape Town, and you can treat her to a perfect sunset walk on the Sea Point strip, followed by fried calamari at one of the best settings in town (I wish I could say best calamari, but they must share that honour with others. It is damn good, though, even if service isn’t always all that.)
It’s an even happier day when later that evening you get a drop by from a diver who wants to spread his bounty with you. And so it was that we ended up with two beautiful beasts in the fridge for a night (alas, we had already eaten enough for one day).
But the next day we were all over those babies:
After much consultation with the experts and the interweb, we settled on steaming them for ONLY ten minutes, which transformed them into this:
The rest you will have to imagine (most interestingly, that one of them had the most curiously pink flesh – experts assured us that this was nothing to worry about; most likely a female full of roe that coloured the flesh while cooking). But we split them, brushed them with a bit of oil and garlic-lemon butter, and under the grill for a final 3 minutes, so as not to exceed the MAXIMUM cooking time of 13 minutes (experts are experts for a reason, non?).
With a bit more melted butter for dipping and some crusty bread, it was a truly lovely way to begin a meal that otherwise consisted of Mario Batali’s surprisingly delicious polpettine al limone (lemon-scented meatballs: do yourself a favour and try them).
Phase two of the crayfish involved turning their shells into stock, which now sits in the freezer awaiting the next unexpected drop in, so we can make a righteous risotto or some such worthy bed for lightly grilled fresh tails.
Speaking of worthy beds, I am happy to report that the great muffin f**k-up has resulted not in ice-cream, nor even poor unsuspecting visitors being forced to eat them toasted, but instead: rumballs. Genious, even if I say so myself!
If I could, I’d offer one or three of these to Paris Hilton to console her for her recent loss. Because shame, every girl needs to indulge a broken heart with a bit of bran disguised as chocolate.