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Devilled Crab Gratin

Devilled Crab Gratin

         Some jobs in the kitchen just have to be done by hand, topping & tailing gooseberries, stoning plums for the freezer, shelling fresh peas, pricking sloes for sloe gin and picking the meat from a hole crab. There is nothing for it but to gather all you need sit down at a table and get on with it. Company of some sort is essential, ideally a real live person who will share the task or one engaged in other activities that you can chat to. Failing live company the radio will keep me entertained.
Of course the point of these activities is to end up with something delicious to eat!
Last night I took on the crab picking challenge and it was well worth it. The brown meat is essential to this dish as it gives a richness that can’t be achieved with anything else.

Crab meat and shells
and the rest.

2 crabs
2 small onions or 1 large one
50g butter
2cm piece of fresh ginger peeled
2 cloves of garlic peeled & chopped
1 dessert spoon of lime pickle
double cream
salt & pepper
fresh coriander chopped
grated cheddar

Pick the brown and white meat from the crabs.
Peel the onions and slice them very thinly, melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the onions. Cook the onions gently. 
Grate the ginger and chop the pieces of lime in the lime pickle. Add the grated ginger, garlic and lime pickle to the onions and continue cooking until the onions are soft.
Heat an ovenproof dish and preheat a grill.
Add the crab to the pan with the onions and enough double cream to loosen the mixture. Heat it all through and stir through the chopped coriander, pour into the warm dish and sprinkle with the grated cheese and grill until browned and bubbling.  
Leave to cool until the bubbling stops and serve with a green salad.

Let the bubbling stop before serving!

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course.
PS Add a chopped chilli if you want a really spicy version, but I like the crab flavour not to be drowned by the chilli.

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