Today’s recipe: Crayfish / rock lobster with lemon butter
Now who wouldn’t want to wake up everyday to this glorious sight? This is the view from the lounge window of our great friends, Len and Joey, in Cape Town. Joerg stayed with them when he first moved to South Africa and was they became second parents to the both of us (how unlucky could they get!?). Those were the days when I was young and pretty instead of just “and”…
Whenever we see them we drink “rhinoceroses” – never heard of it? That’s because you haven’t sat at their lovely bar, sipping gin and tonics from a glass with a rhinoceros on it (get it?) and enjoyed the view across the bay to Table Mountain and Robben Island. We’ve spent many a happy hour on those stools telling tales, some true some not quite so true. They even brought their doggies and joined us on our boat before we set sail all those years ago.
Whenever we are in Cape Town we join them for some fun – and I have to remind them that it’s their fault I married That Man (whom I of course love and adore). They have put their fantastic house on the market, about which I am not too happy. Where else will we have rhinoceroses?? So what I have decided to do is to help them sell and make it a stipulation in the sale that the new owners have to let me visit them. Come on, I’m not that bad!
Go to the end of this blog for some photos of the house and send me an email (I’ll put you in touch with them directly) with your purchase request and a signed statement about my visitation rights… The house is absolutely lovely, beautifully maintained, has incredible views and is a steal at R5,5 million. (For currency conversion go to: http://www.xe.com/ucc/ )
It was with L&J that I went to one of my all time favourite seafood restaurants, Panama Jacks (http://www.panamajacks.net/site2/intro.html ) in the old Cape Town harbour. And it was there I showed them that a slight (it’s a while back) SA girl is quite capable of eating an entire seafood platter by herself while raising a sharp knife – not to eat with but to make sure NO-ONE tried to take so much as a grain of MY rice. I hope that age will not only bring me wrinkles but less food violence…
Instead of going there again this time, we decided to drive 2 ½ hours up the West coast and buy Crayfish or Rock Lobster for my American buddies, straight off the boats. A little slice of heaven is all I can say. There is a tiny village called Paternoster (http://www.paternoster.co.za/ ) where I was lucky enough to spend some of my glorious youth with friends and fish. Antoinette and I attempted a few minutes of topless cockle and mussel gathering while Joerg and Winston went off and organised 20 crayfish for the 4 of us. Hey, we always had good appetites.
NOT FOUND: crayfishonplate.jpg
That was 20 years ago and the local hotel is still exactly the same, carpets, owner, the works. We were sitting in the car waiting for the boats to come in when I heard a voice that kept calling “tanie” or “aunty” in English. (This is how young people in South Africa address older people when they are being respectful). I wondered when this old aunty person would finally answer, until I finally realised that she was talking to me!!! Life just ain’t fair.
But what was fair was the size and price of the rock lobsters. We only bought 2 each this time, but they were just as good as we remembered them all those years ago. We rushed back to Cape Town and ate them with Lars, all of us with lobster juice and garlic sauce dripping down our arms. Not exactly a first date type of a meal, but certainly one of the best I know of!
ROCK LOBSTER / CRAYFISH
1 or 2 lobsters / crayfish per person depending on the size
1 large pot of boiling water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
6 tbsp butter
1. Bring enough water to a boil to be able to submerge the lobsters completely. Put the lobsters in head first, bring back to the boil and then reduce the heat and cook for 5-6 minutes for the first pound and a further 3-4 for each additional pound.
(See also http://www.ehow.com/how_2072_boil-lobster.html for more info.)
2. Remove immediately, drain and serve. We always eat ours with corn on the cob and garlic bread, but you can decide what you might like to go with it.
3. For the lemon garlic sauce: Melt the butter, add the garlic for a minute (do not brown), add the lemon juice just to heat through and serve. Simple yet great!
Len and Joey can forward you way better photos than I have taken after my rhinoceroses!
A photo looking in to one of the two dining rooms (this is the less formal one).
Partial view of the kitchen.
One of the lounges (the more formal one).