Friday, September 3, 2010

Crayfish Party “Kräftskiva“

A Crayfish Party “Kräftskiva“ is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration in Sweden, but has since spread to other countries.  Crayfish parties are generally held during August, a tradition that started because crayfish harvesting in Sweden was, for most of the 20th century, legally limited to late summer. Today most people just celebrate some time in August, also to be able to keep the party outside due to the weather.  Usually you have special decorations, paper hats, paper tablecloths, paper lanterns (often the Man in the Moon), and bibs. As in Sweden when you have parties like this it is usually very custom to have drinking songs with your schnapps “snapsvisa.”

In Sweden it is really easy to get fresh or frozen crayfish but if you are in the US you probably have to go to your local fisherman and get some. If you get fresh ones the first thing you have to do is get the crayfish to “empty their guts.” Basically what you do is jut put them in cold water with some salt and let them sit in there for at least 30 minutes and rinse the water once at least too.  If you already get frozen or dead crayfish you can just boil them right away in the brine.

People have different traditions of what they serve with their crayfish. Traditionally you just server the crayfish with crispbread  “knäckebröd” i.e. Wasa Bread, and some schnapps.  But nobody got satisfied on that so today people add a few more things to their menu.  Most of the time you have different kinds of breads, different kinds of Quiches, usually Cheese Quiche or Quiche Lorraine.  Some will add Herring, Potatoes and Meatballs too. Most folks will do some kind of a sauce for the crayfish like Aioli, Rouille or Yogurt sauce with Dill.  Then for dessert most folks will make a Strawberry cake.

Either way it is always a good time!

Crayfish Brine

Serves: 4-6 people

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Brine Time: 3-24 hours

2 ½ lbs crayfish
2 ½ quarts water
¼ cup kosher salt
5 large stalks of crown dill

Boil the water, add the salt, and the crown dill.  Put in the crayfish one after the other with the head first and cook for 10 minutes.  Then let them cool in this brine in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours but some people recommend they sit at least 24 hours.

Before serving remove them from the brine.

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25 Responses to “Crayfish Party “Kräftskiva“”

  1. 1

    Gaynol — September 3, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    Love it! Love the photo to, those lanterns are wonderful and the recipe looks great.

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

      Gaynol – Ohh Swedish crayfish parties are amazing. I wish it was easier to find crayfish in Seattle.

  2. 2

    Gran — September 3, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    I love the lanterns also. And this looks like a wonderful recipe.

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

      Gran – Ohh crayfish is soo good. It is just hard to find here. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. 3

    Barbara @moderncomfortfood — September 4, 2010 @ 8:40 am

    The crayfish, which my local fishmonger has now, look right up my alley. The traditional serving approach does sound a bit skimpy for a meal, but the line up of et ceteras you describe sound positively wonderful for a fun meal with friends. Many thanks for sharing!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

      Barbara – oh that is great you can get this where you are either FL or NCA. When you do get it what else do you do with crayfish?

  4. 4

    redmenace — September 4, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic time! I LOVE crayfish, but rarely get to indulge!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

      Robin – I am with you, i feel like i eat crayfish once a year. Wish i coud find it at restaurants in Seattle.

  5. 5

    Carol (CGtheFoodie) — September 5, 2010 @ 12:57 am

    I love crayfish! I have never made it at home though so I will have to try this. Thanks!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

      Carol – Ohh you will have to try to make it at home. It is so much fun!

  6. 6

    pierre — September 5, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    that’s just fopr me I love Crayfishs!!Pierre

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

      Pierre – So nice to see you here!

  7. 7

    uma — September 6, 2010 @ 6:40 am

    i havent tasted crayfish yet.. would love to try this..
    ur blog has an apt name.. lovely global recipes..

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

      Uma – Thanks for stopping by. Hope you can come back soon.

  8. 8

    Praniskitchen — September 6, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

    never heard n had this fish.. likes to see such a new fish recipe good one

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

      Pranis Kitchen – Thanks for stopping by – hope you can come back soon.

  9. 9

    Splendid Willow — September 7, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    Yes!!!! I am huge crayfish lover! And the tradition is carried on! My kids slurp like true Vikings ! (:

    We have guests coming ovr on Friday. I have 2 packages of crayfish from Ikea. Now, I have decided to get some fresh ones — and follow your instructions. I can do that, right?

    Love to you, MOn

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

      Monika – That is great. I love crayfish too. Oh yeah get fresh ones and follow the instructions. I know you can out bear in the brine but i prefer without it. Then let it sit for a few days. let me kno whow it goes.

  10. 10

    Barbara @moderncomfortfood — September 8, 2010 @ 5:50 am

    Regarding your question: I’m from the American South, so I associate crayfish with a variety of Cajun dishes, including gumbo and etouffee, both excellent!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 14th, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

      Barbara – Those are some great recipes. Never thought of them having crayfish in them. Thanks for sharing with me.

  11. 11

    Carrie — September 8, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    Eeeek, not sure I could prepare crayfish on my own. But I’m sure I’d like it. I like all shellfishy types of animals.

    • Delishhh replied: — September 14th, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

      Carrie – Nice to see you again. I love shellfish too. You can buy frozen ones then it is much easier.

  12. 12

    Big island crawfish | FinAppx — January 8, 2011 @ 3:07 am

    […] Crayfish Party “Kräftskiva“ — Delishhh […]

  13. 13

    BestOodles — April 8, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

    Great photos and blog! Reading this blog make me hungry!

  14. 14

    SEO Hertfordshire — September 5, 2014 @ 5:27 am

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you
    forr supplying this information.

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