The Scandinavians have been huge fans of crayfish/crawfish (kräftor) since the 16th century. Most of their crayfish parties are held outdoors in August, include corky paper hats, loud sucking noises, plenty of shots, and mad drinking songs.
The crayfish are served whole, arranged on a serving platter garnished with dill. An open-faced sandwich is most often assembled at the table. The crayfish are leisurely taken apart and enjoyed while the tail meat is saved and piled high on the sandwich.
4 pounds live crayfish
12 cups water
4 cups dark beer (gluten free)
½ cup coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 sliced lemon
2 large bunches fresh dill sprigs, preferably crown dill
Rinse the crayfish thoroughly in cold water and make sure they are all alive.
In a large pot, combine all ingredients aside from the crayfish and bring to a boil. Slowly add the crayfish, one by one headfirst, making sure the liquid remains at a boil. When the last crayfish is in the pot, bring to a high boil briefly and turn off the heat.
Cover the pot and leave to cool in the cooking water in the refrigerator for a few hours, preferably over night.
Drain and serve.
These crisp breads are very easy to make, but keep in mind that the sprouting must be started 24 hours or more before baking.
1 cup buckwheat groats (2 cups sprouted)
3 tablespoons soft butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup rice flour
1 cup potato starch
½ cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup yogurt
Rinse the groats well until water runs clear and place in a bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for 1 hour.
Rinse thoroughly in a colander to drain and transfer the groats to a seed sprouter or sprouting jar and set aside, away from direct sunlight.
Repeat rinsing every 8 hours 3-4 times.
Leave to dry completely and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Whip butter and honey until soft with a fork.
Mix in remaining ingredients to make a wet dough.
Use an ice cream scoop to drop 6 balls onto each baking sheet. Dip fingers in water and push each dough ball into a flat round, about 4-5 inches in diameter, 1/8” inch thick.
Bake at 300F/150C until lightly browned for 30-35 minutes. Straight out of the oven they should be crispy on the edges and slightly soft and flexible in the middle.
Cool on a rack.
1 cup (8 oz) crème fraîche (Find recipe for homemade crème fraîche here)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 pinch ground mustard seeds
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Photography by Philip Blankenship.