Citizens, only just last month, one of your beloved Leader’s favorite food festivals occurred – the Isleton Crawdad Festival!
Each year on Father’s Day Weekend, the town of Isleton hosts the ANNUAL CRAWDAD FESTIVAL. The festival draws crowds reaching 200,000 people!
This is the largest consumption of crawdads outside of Louisiana, over a three-day period, in any one town on the planet.
Some 25,000 pounds of crawdads, to be exact!
There are crawdad races (the losers may be eaten) for all to see! These rascals are the quarter horses of crustaceans and are race ready!
Do you want to hear some Cajun sounds? We’re talking about 20 bands covering four stages!
The Crawdad Festival is brought to you by the Isleton Chamber of Commerce and the major sponsors, Budweiser, Southwest Airlines, 95.3 KUIC, and Contra Costa Times.
In memory of this most delicious event near Sacramento, I shall share with you an heirloom recipe for crawfish bisque served in San Francisco during the early 20th Century from a British Chef of renown!
Charles Elmé Francatelli (1805–10 August 1876) was an Italian British cook, known for his cookery books popular in the Victorian era.
Francatelli was born in London, of Italian extraction, in 1805, and was educated in France, where he studied the art of cookery. Coming to England, he was employed successively by various noblemen, subsequently becoming chief chef of the St James’s Club, popularly known as Crockford’s club.
He left Crockford’s to become chief cook to Queen Victoria from 9 March 1840 to 31 March 1842, and then returned to Crockfords. He was managing steward of the Coventry House Club from the day it opened on 1 June 1846 until it closed on 25 March 1854, and at the Reform Club from 1854 to 1861.
He was Manager of the St James’s Hotel, at the corner of Berkeley Street and Piccadilly, from 1863 to 1870. He worked as chef de cuisine to the Prince and Princess of Wales at the nearby Marlborough House from 1863 to 1865. From 1870 to 76 he was manager of the Freemason’s Tavern.
Francatelli was the author of The Modern Cook (1845); of A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes (1852), The Cook’s Guide and Housekeeper’s & Butler’s Assistant (1861), and of The Royal English and Foreign Confectionery Book (1862).
This recipe is in the sadly out of print “Bohemian San Francisco, its restaurants and their most famous recipes; the elegant art of dining” from 1914. Happily, the entire fascinating historical book this came from is digitized and available here.
I truly hope you decide to give this magnificent historical recipe a try, ! 😀
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- Crayfish Bisque Recipe in Instructions
- This is the recipe for eight people, and it is well worth trying if you are giving a dinner of importance :
- Take thirty crawfish, from which remove the gut containing the gall in the following manner: Take firm hold of the CRAWFISH with the left hand so as to avoidcbeing pinched by its claws; with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand pinch the extreme end of the central fin of the tail, and, with a sudden jerk, the gut will be withdrawn.
- Mince or cut into small dice a carrot, an onion, one head of celery and a few parsley roots, and to these add a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, a little minionette pepper and two ounces of butter. Put these ingredients into a stewpan and fry them ten minutes, then throw in the crawfish and pour on them half a bottle of French white wine.
- Allow this to boil and then add a quart of strong consomme and let all continue boiling for half an hour. Pick out the crawfish and strain the broth through a napkin by pressure into a basin in order to extract all the essence from the vegetables.
- Pick the shells off twenty-five of the crawfish tails, trim them neatly and set them aside until wanted. Reserve some of the spawn, also half of the body shells with which to make the crawfish butter to finish the soup.
- This butter is made as follows: Place the shells on a baking sheet in the oven to dry.
- Let the shells cool and then pound them in a mortar with a little lobster coral and four ounces of fresh butter, thoroughly bruising the whole together so as to make a fine paste. Put this in a stewpan and set it over a slow fire to simmer for about five minutes, then rub it through a sieve with considerable pressure into a basin containing ice water. As soon as the colored crawfish butter is become firmly set, through the coldness of the water, take it out and put it into a small basin and set in the refrigerator until wanted.
- Reverting to the original recipe: Take the remainder of the crawfish and add thereto three anchovies, washed for the purpose, and also the crusts of French rolls, fried to a light brown color in butter.
- Pound all these thoroughly together and then put them into a stewpan with the broth that has been reserved in a basin, and having warmed the bisque thus prepared rub it through a sieve into a fine puree.
- Put this puree into a soup pot and finish by incorporating therewith the crawfish butter and season with a little cayenne pepper and the juice of ½ a lemon. Pour the bisque quite hot into the tureen in which have been placed the crawfish tails, and send to the table.
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