THE CHRIST­MAS CRAB

EDP Norfolk - - NORFOLK CHRISTMAS -

PART 1: CRAB TEA (this can be made the day be­fore) In­gre­di­ents

Shells from one whole medium crab, meat re­moved. 1 stick of cel­ery, 1 medium car­rot, ½ medium onion, ½ bulb of fen­nel, 6 sprigs of thyme, 2 star anise , ¼ tsp tomato puree, 1 medium glass of white wine.

Method

Roast crab shells for 45 min­utes at 165C, re­mov­ing half­way through to break shells into smaller pieces us­ing a rolling pin. Then add the cel­ery, fen­nel, car­rot and onion, roughly chopped, to the roast­ing crab shells, and cook for a fur­ther 40 min­utes. Place crab shells and roasted vegeta­bles in a large saucepan and de-glaze the roast­ing pan with white wine. Cover the shells and vegeta­bles with wa­ter, en­sur­ing there is an ex­tra few cen­time­tres of wa­ter to al­low for re­duc­tion, then add thyme, star anise, tomato puree, and the wine you used to de-glaze, and bring to a sim­mer for three hours, re­mov­ing all im­pu­ri­ties from the sur­face of the liq­uid reg­u­larly. Then pass through a sieve into an­other saucepan. Re­duce the liquor by half un­til a ro­bust crab flavour is achieved and sea­son to taste.

PART 2: SOFT BOILED EGG AND CRAB BUT­TER SOL­DIERS In­gre­di­ents

Half of your crab’s brown meat, salted but­ter – equal in weight to the crab meat, 2 slices sour­dough, 4 medium free range eggs.

Method

Mix the crab meat with the salted but­ter, blend­ing thor­oughly with a fork, add a few drops of tabasco or Worces­ter­shire sauce if de­sired. When al­most ready to serve your Christ­mas Crab, soft boil your egg in sim­mer­ing wa­ter for 5 min­utes 10 sec­onds. Toast your sour­dough and spread your crab but­ter, then cut into sol­diers.

PART 3: CRAB CRO­QUETTES WITH A VIR­GIN MARY RE­DUC­TION In­gre­di­ents

The re­main­ing half of brown crab meat, one quar­ter of your crabs’ white meat, 1 tsp salted but­ter, ½ small onion, finely chopped, 25g plain flour, 175ml whole milk, ¼ tsp tomato puree, ½ tsp English mus­tard, a lit­tle freshly grated nut­meg, 1 medium free range egg, beaten, 100g panko bread­crumbs. Rape­seed or sun­flower oil for deep fry­ing.

Method

Melt the but­ter in a pan and fry the onion un­til soft­ened. Stir in the flour and cook on a medium heat un­til it looks like sand - ap­prox­i­mately 20-30 sec­onds, and grad­u­ally whisk in the milk un­til the sauce is thick and glossy. Cook gen­tly for 5 min­utes, stir­ring con­stantly. Add the tomato puree, mus­tard, nut­meg, salt and pep­per. Al­low to cool a lit­tle then stir in the crab meat. Spoon into a bowl and cover with cling film to pre­vent a skin from form­ing. When this mix­ture has cooled, chill un­til the mix­ture has set, about 2 hours. When ready, use ta­ble­spoons to make eight quenelles, dip in egg, and care­fully coat in bread­crumbs. Bring your fry­ing oil to 180C, and use a slot­ted spoon to lower your crab cro­quettes into the oil. Cook for about 2½ min­utes un­til golden brown.

VIR­GIN MARY RE­DUC­TION In­gre­di­ents

200ml pas­sata, ½ tsp Worcester sauce, ½ tsp Tabasco, a pinch of Mal­don sea salt, a pinch black pep­per, 10 cel­ery leaves, roughly chopped to serve.

Method

Com­bine in­gre­di­ents (ex­clud­ing cel­ery leaves) in a small saucepan, and re­duce by half.

WHITE CRAB MEAT

Take the re­main­ing white crab meat, a few drops of lemon juice, Mal­don sea salt and a twist of freshly ground black pep­per, 1 tsp roughly chopped flat pars­ley and mix to­gether!

somer­ley­ton.co.uk/frit­ton-lake/ frit­ton-arms

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