Nature Blog Network

Saturday, August 16, 2008

American Invasion of Scottland

According to the BBC, Scottish Environment Minister Mike Russell has declared war on the American signal crayfish

"Any angler who catches one is urged to kill it on sight, not to throw it back into the water or take it away alive and contact the Scottish Government, Fisheries Research Services, Scottish Natural Heritage or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency."

It seems the crayfish have been carrying off the young fish and flooding the countryside by boring holes into the stream and river banks.

Personally I recommend they have a wonderful Crawdad Étouffée

I'll even help with a starting point of a recipe.
Crawdad Étouffée

2 lbs crayfish tails, peeled and cleaned
1 medium brown onion, chopped
1 large bellpepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tblsp tomato paste
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper, ground
1 tsp sweet basil
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup butter or vegetable oil (or bacon fat / lard)
1/2+ cup flour

Make medium roux
In large skillet heat 1/2 cup of butter or vegetable oil (or you choice of fat!!) over medium high heat to 300 degrees F. Using wooden spoon slowly add flour, stirring constantly until peanut butter in color (around two minutes). Don't let yourself get distracted while the roux is cooking.

The Trinity + Spices
When the roux reaches the proper color, lower heat to simmer, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery (the trinity) along with the garlic. When the vegetables are tender add tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil, adding bay leaves.

Simmer, Simmer
Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crawfish tails and basil and simmer 15 minutes more.
Add salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme and parsley to taste.

I have no idea what they should do with the other two American species which, along with a Japanese seaweed, fill out the rest of the ministers top invaders. Those animals are vertebrates and I'm not sure I could recommend eating American mink and grey squirrel, though I know some as would.


  1. In other news, hundreds of invasive crayfish found dead in the UK ( Don't rejoice just yet -- likely culprit is Aphanomyces astaci, a pathogen transmitted by resistant North American crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and devastating to native crays as well as Turkish usurpers.

    Plus (blatant plug): crabs and barnacles of the Texas panhandle, at my new blog.

  2. Yu might have to translate 'skillet' for the English English speaking English.

    It sounds to me like a member of one's domestic staff with dubious morals.

  3. For those who do not speak the particular dialect from the southern or western US,a skillet = a 12" (30cm) frying pan with flared sides, oned could also use a medium to large (20-30cm) sauté pan.


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