Marrons on Vegetable Spaghetti with a Coconut Sauce

Blue marrons are highly prized crayfish which are only found in in Western Australia, they are blue in appearance and resemble a small lobster (there is also a black shelled variety). Their flesh is sweet and succulent. Blue marrons are very difficult to farm, making them an expensive but worth the extra cost. If you are unable to purchase blue or black marrons you may use large crayfish, a small lobster or extra large prawns.

Maroons
Yabbies

Portions: 4 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

Maroons

  • 8 large marrons or similar shellfish (increasing the quantity if small)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 leek, washed and chopped roughly
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with the back of a knife
  • 1 stick celery, washed and chopped roughly
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprigs of dill
  • 4 juniper berries

Crustacean Oil

  • maroon shells, crushed
  • 1/2 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 onion , roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 200ml olive oil

Deep Fried Leek

  • 2 leeks, white part only finely shredded
  • oil for deep frying

Coconut Sauce

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with the side of a knife
  • 1 tsp orange zest

Vegetable Spaghetti

  • 250g carrot, washed, peeled and shredded lenghtwise into spaghetti like strands with a madolin, Japanese slicer*, food processor or knife
  • 250g courgette, washed and trimmed, cut lengthwise into spaghetti like strands (see carrots)
  • 2 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 1 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

To Serve:

  • handful of chervil sprigs
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 1 tomato concasse (seeds removed and finely diced)

Method

  1. Marrons: Place the carrot, leek, celery, garlic, dill, juniper berries and bay leave in a large deep pan that will hold the maroons. Fill the pan with water enough to cover the marrons. Place the pan on a stove and bring it to the boil, when boiling add the maroons and allow them to simmer until they change to an orange colour (do not overcook them). Remove them from the water and allow to cool slightly. Bring the cooking stock back to the boil and allow it to reduce until the flavour is concentrated, if time allows reduce it to around 100ml (you will need 100ml of stock for this dish).
  2. To remove the shells from the marrons, firstly remove their heads and claw. Then, with a sharp knife, cut along the shell to make an incision that runs down along underneath their legs. Peel the shell off their tail, crack the claws and remove the meat. Keep the flesh warm until ready to serve or refrigerator in a covered container.
  3. Crustacean Oil (optional): Place the 2 tbsp olive oil in saucepan over a moderate heat, place the marron shells (break them up by wrapping them in a tea towel and banging them with a rolling pin or mallet), carrots, garlic and onion in it and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the remaining oil and cook for a further 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, so as to infuse the oil. Remove the oil from the stove and cool . When cool strain the oil and discard the shells, carrot and onion. Place the oil in a container and set it aside until ready to serve. The oil will keep for 1 week in a sealed container.
  4. Deep Fried Leeks: Heat some oil in a deep fryer, wok or large saucepan to 180°C. or until a cube of bread when dropped in it rises to the top and becomes crisp and golden brown. Place the leek in batches in the oil and allow it to become crisp and brown, remove it from the oil and drain it on kitchen towelling. Repeat this with the remaining leek. The leek can be prepared a couple of hours in advance and stored in a sealed container.
  5. Coconut Sauce: Place all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan add 100ml of the maroon cooking stock and bring the sauce to a the boil then reduce to simmer. Allow the sauce to cook for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and strain it, discard the ginger and garlic. Return the sauce to a saucepan.
  6. Vegetable Spaghetti: Bring the coconut sauce to a strong simmer and add the carrots and courgettes, allow the vegetables to cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove the vegetable spaghetti from the heat, stir in the fresh herbs and a little seasoning. Keep the sauce and spaghetti warm until ready to serve.
  7. To Serve: Quickly reheat the maroons in a steamer over boiling water for a couple of minutes (you may begin this when vegetable spaghetti is cooking). Strain the vegetable spaghetti from the sauce. With a large fork place mounds of the vegetable spaghetti in 4 bowls. Place 2 maroons on each serving of vegetables with their claw meat. Pour the coconut sauce over the spaghetti and maroon, and sprinkle over the tomato concasse and tarragon leaves. Drizzle the crustacean oil around the bowl and place the chervil sprigs around the spaghetti. Place handfuls of the deep fried leeks in the centre of the bowl. Serve