Yabbies with Goat's Cheese Gnocchi

When I was a child of 5 I lived in the Australian country-side for a short time, my friend had a large farm with a small river running through it. Here we fished for yabbies using lines with cheese attached, we caught hundreds, but much to my discuss the bucket full of yabbies were soon put in a pot of boiling water by my mother. These days few of us our lucky enough to catch yabbies like this and they have now become more of a luxury food. The flesh of yabbies is absolutely delicious, being between the flavour of a prawn and lobster without the saltiness. Yabbies are an Australian inland freshwater crayfish.

Yabbies are Australian crayfish ,when uncooked are grey to brown in colour and when they are cooked like many shellfish become a reddy colour when cooked. They have 2 front claw and 8 small legs (not worthwhile eating). Yabbies are at their best in spring and Autumn because in Summer yabbies breed and in winter they hide away from the cold. Yabbies like most shellfish are usually sold cooked and should be stored for only a short period of time. If you buy live ones you should cook them straight from the refrigerator in a pot of boiling water with or without aromatics.

To shell yabbies, remove their heads and loosen underneath their bodies with your fingers or small knife and peel off the shell with the claws, crack the claw and remove the meat from them. You may reserve the shells for a stock or soup.

Yabbies with Goats Cheese Gnocchi

Portions: 4 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

Yabbies

  • 24 yabbies or crayfish, cooked or briefly cooked in boiling water

Gnochi

  • 400g potato gnocchi (fresh or vacuumed packed)
  • 150g soft goats cheese
  • 100ml double cream (in Australia fresh cream)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp sage leaves
  • 100g rocket leaves
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes, diced

Method

  1. Gnochi:Bring a large saucepan of water with a pinch of salt and a little olive oil to the boil. Place the gnocchi in it and reduce it to a strong simmer as soon as the gnocchi floats to the top remove it from the water and drain. Refresh the gnocchi in a bowl with water and ice, this is to stop it cooking further.
  2. Sauce:In a large saucepan pour in the double cream and add the garlic, bring it to a strong simmer then whisk in the goats cheese until it has melted through the cream. Drain the gnocchi and add it and the yabbies and sage to cream and heat it through so that the gnocchi and yabbies are hot. Carefully mix in the tomatoes. Serve hot.
  3. To Serve:Toss the rocket with a little olive oil and seasoning, distribute it among 4 bowls. Distribute gnocchi among the bowls and serve.