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Cajun Popcorn

ingredients

serves 8
900 g (2 lb) raw crayfish tails, peeled, or small prawns, peeled and deveined
2 eggs
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup dry white wine
50 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup fine cornmeal (or plain flour, if not available)
50 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup plain flour
15 ml (1 tbsp) snipped fresh chives
1 garlic clove, crushed
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) fresh thyme leaves
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) ground black pepper
oil, for deep-frying

for the mayonnaise

1 egg yolk
10 ml (2 tsp) Dijon mustard
15 ml (1 tbsp) white wine vinegar
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup olive or vegetable oil
15 g (1/2 oz) 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and ground black pepper

method

1. Rinse the crayfish tails or prawns in cold water. Drain well and set aside in a cool place.
Mix together the eggs and wine in a small bowl.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal and/or flour, chives, garlic, thyme, salt, cayenne and pepper.

3. Gradually whisk in the egg mixture, blending well. Cover the batter and stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

4. For the mayonnaise, combine the egg yolk, mustard and vinegar in a mixing bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating vigorously with a wire whisk. When the mixture is thick and smooth, stir in the basil. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

5. Heat 7.5cm/3in of oil in a large frying pan or deep-fryer to a temperature of 180°C/350°F. Dip the seafood into the batter and fry in small batches for 2 - 3 minutes, until golden brown. Turn as necessary for even colouring. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot, with the basil mayonnaise.

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