I absolutely love crab. Ive often dreamed that if I was on Saturday Kitchen then crab would be my heaven (beetroot my hell)! Whenever we go on holiday to the coast I live on crab sandwiches, it’s the law. So when watching a hidden away programme on Channel 4 called ‘Meet What You Eat,’ I was blown away by this dish, which was beautifully demonstrated by the rather striking and talented chef Sophie Michell. The ingredients and method below are from the show with small tweaks by me.
Ive included some images of the prep, which included disembowelling said crab and extracting the luscious bounty within. My crab although a fairly decent size (from the wonderful Lanigans in Lytham St Annes) was only 750g so I halved the ingredients listed.
1.5 kg crab, cooked and prepped (to make 250g white crab meat and 100g of brown meat approximately). Like I mentioned In had 750g crab.
1 tbsp of clarified butter
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1tbsp diced red chilli
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp celery salt (I didn’t have any!)
½ tsp of Espelette pepper (I used normal black pepper!)
½ tsp dried oregano
½ smoked paprika
Zest of 2 limes
1 tbsp fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1 handful of dried breadcrumbs (preferably panko)
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of hollandaise
1 tsp jalapeño hot sauce (I just used diced, from a jar)
1 tsp diced jalapeños
Remove the legs off the crab. They simply twist off. With the body upright and the shell towards you, prize the centre of the crab away from its shell with your thumbs. Takes a bit of effort. Remove the ‘dead mans fingers’ from the body. These are the tentacle like protrusions about an inch and half long.
Keep the main body shell for presentation purposes. Flick the oven on to 180 deg C.
Scoop out all the meat from inside the shell and place in a bowl. Scrape off the meat from the head you’ve extracted. Then break the claws with the back of a large knife and with a skewer scrape out the chunks of flesh (this is the main bit, don’t throw these away)!. Repeat with the legs (messy but worth doing).
Fry the onions, chilli and garlic in the butter, along with the paprika and oregano for a couple of minutes.
Then add the crab, zest, parsley and seasoning. Give it all a stir. Finally mix in the zest, breadcrumbs and egg yolk and give it another stir.
Spoon all the meat from the pan back into the shell pressing it fully in as you go. I then mixed the hollandaise with the jalapenos and topped the crab with it.
Pop in the oven and bake for 4 minutes. Serve with toasted bread and lime wedges. I served it with a bit of poncey garnish and some lovely, buttered granary bread.
I now have the confidence to dress my own crab. Reckon I will do a cold one with mayo next for those ultimate crab sandwiches……
Thanks to the original recipe here by Sophie Michell.