Since fresh Finnish crayfish are very expensive to purchase, you can replace part of them with large-sized shrimps.
Served in a traditional crayfish party, shelling and peeling them provides pastime similar to fiddling with the crayfish.
raw or cooked whole, unshelled large-sized shrimps fresh or frozen
court-bouillon (if using raw shrimps)
slices of freshly toasted white bread
chopped, fresh dill
smetana or crème fraîche
If using frozen shrimps (cooked or uncooked), let them thaw overnight in refrigerator, placed in a colander set over a large bowl to catch the dripping liquid, covered with plastic wrap. Keep cooked thawed shrimps in refrigerator until the serving time.
Uncooked shrimps (fresh or thawed from frozen) will be poached in a court-bouillon.
To make the court-bouillon, follow the instructions given here, adding also lemon slices and dill to season the broth. If you have a large batch of shrimps to poach, increase the amount of court-bouillon ingredients.
Using a deep rather than a shallow saucepan containing the boiling hot court-bouillon, turn off the heat and add the shrimps in the pan. Cover the pan and let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimps, or until the shrimps are pink and firm.
Be careful not to overcook them, or they will turn tough and rubbery.
Cool the shrimps by plunging them into ice water. Drain the shrimps, cover and keep in refrigerator before serving.
Arrange the whole shrimps on serving plate(s) and decorate with crown dill and lemon wedges.
The diners will shell and eat the shrimps with their hands. Provide finger bowls, lots of paper napkins and a dish for scraps for the diners.
The shelled, cleaned shrimp tails may be eaten by arranging them on buttered toast, sprinkled with lots of fresh dill, a dash of lemon juice and a dollop of smetana.
Recipe source: adapted from "Herb-Poached Shrimp", PBS/America's Test Kitchen, "Shrimp Classics", 2002.