How to cook Alikreukel? It's much easier than you might think. First, let's take a look at what Alikreukel is and then decide how to cook it, shall we?
Alikkreukel, also known as the Giant Periwinkle or the South African turban (Turbo sarmaticus) are hard-shelled mollusks. They grow by the hordes in the South African waters and are extremely well adapted to surviving in the rough seas around the Cape. Apart from their rock hard shell they also have an extremely powerful muscle that "glues" them to rocks. Because of this, the muscle is very tough and only becomes edible when either minced up or cooked low and slow.
This time round we will use the easier-quicker method of cooking Alikreukel or in the mother tongue "Alikreukel gaarmaak". Firstly we need to remove the muscle from within the shell and that guy will not get out by himself. We need to boil the alikreukel for about 10 minutes in salted water or until the muscle releases and pops out of the shell. Clean off any guts and remove the hard-shell foot so you are left only with a clean piece of flesh. After that, we mince the Alikreukel through the finest setting you have on your mincer. Only once.
Quick reminder. Don't throw away the shells. They make for beautiful little ornaments and decorations around the beach house or serve as a nice reminder of time well spent.
With our minced Alikreukel ready and set aside, we chop up some onions and garlic. Finely is best. Grab a good bottle of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or any other dry white wine. Have a bit yourself and then keep a bit for the alikreukel. We also need some nice 82% butterfat real-butter. No margarine, oil or any of that stuff. You want butter. The good stuff. Butter will give, you guessed it, a lovely buttery-rich texture and flavour and with all kinds of seafood, it's amaaaaazing. Lastly some double or thick cream. Like 30% will do. Nice natural sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and fresh lemon.
"Grab a good bottle of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or any other dry white wine. Have a bit yourself and then keep a bit for the alikreukel"
Don't be tempted to use lemon juice in bottles or cheap wine or any shortcut ingredients for that matter. This Alikreukel recipe is simple, fresh and proper so we don't mess with all those other nasty, not nice ingredients. Fresh, simple and well-cooked is the best approach for any meal.
If you have a nice heavy-bottomed cast iron pot, or potjie for potjiekos, You know the ones that cause back injury when you try picking it up, then use that. If you don't have one or just too lazy to faf around with the one you do have then no big deal. Grab any suitable pot or pan and get it nice and hot. From here on making sure you have all your tools(wooden spoon), ingredients and spare wine ready.
Firstly we go in with the butter. When that's melted we add the onions, garlic, pinch of salt and cook that slowly until nice and soft about 10 minutes on medium heat. Don't let this colour or burn. Add the white wine and reduce that down by half. Next, the periwinkle goes in and get's cooked for about 5 minutes to release its juices and wonderful fresh ocean seafood aroma. Finally, add the cream. Simmer(NOT BOIL) this for about 15 minutes or until the cream has thickened slightly. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the rest of the butter to emulsify. Adjust the seasoning with some more sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, fine grating of lemon zest and a little squeeze of lemon juice. Serve this as is or over some rice.
"Don't be tempted to use lemon juice in bottles or cheap wine or any shortcut ingredients"
To make an alikreukel potjie use the same method described above. If you want to make a curry potjie just add some curry powder when finished cooking the onions and replace one 5th of the cream with coconut milk.
How to cook alikreukel? Alikreukel gaarmaak. There you have it. It's a treat to behold. Simple, fresh, straight from the ocean and dang tasty.