Crab. And my spicy crab spaghetti

30 Sep

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There are around 4,500 different kinds of crab around the world, but brown crab is the most commonly available around the coasts of northern Europe and can weigh up to 3kg.
Crab is cheaper and just as tasty as lobster, it’s also full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help build muscle, protect against heart disease and support the immune system

BROWN CRABS, have a delectable sweet flesh, and are prized by food lovers. Scottish ones, perhaps the most sought after, score top marks for their flavour, which owes much to them feeding in cold, unpolluted waters.

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BLUE CRAB – although recently introduced to the Mediterranean, it is actually native to the Eastern side of North America, especially around the coast of Maryland.

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SOFT-SHELL CRAB is blue crab in its moulted state – a much sought after delicacy. Blue crab sheds and re-grows its shell in just over 24-hours.

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SPIDER CRAB – a northern European species, particularly popular in France.

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SNOW CRAB – inhabits the deep cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s usually canned and processed rather than sold fresh.

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White Meat
White crab meat comes from the claws and legs of the crab and while predominantly white in colour it does have a naturally occurring red/brown tinge throughout. White crab is very low in fat and particularly high in protein, it has a delicate, sweet flavour, a sweet aroma and a naturally flaky texture. White crab meat is versatile and while it is consumed largely in sandwiches, it can be used in pastas, risottos, and salads as well as a canape topping.

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Brown Meat
Brown Meat is from the body of the crab. It has a higher natural fat content, but is also extremely high in Omega-3. 100g of Brown Crab contains 2/3 of the 3g weekly recommended intake of Omega 3. Brown crab meat has an even pate like texture and a rich full flavour. The colour and texture of the brown meat vary throughout the year as the crabs physiology changes.

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Cooking fresh crab .
Ingredients .
1 bulb of fennel chopped
1 tsp pepper corns
2 bay leaves
Salt, enough so the water tastes like the ocean

1,Pour 5 litres of water into a large saucepan and add around 5 tablespoons of sea salt, the fennel, bay leaves and peppercorns, bring to the boil

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Grasp the live crab by the back legs and drop it into the water headfirst. For a more humane method, as you grasp the crab by the legs, stroke the top of its head until it falls asleep and then slowly drop it into the boiling water.
Bring the water back to the boil and only then start timing.
You should cook large crabs (about 1kg) for around 15 – 20 minutes, whilst smaller crabs will only need around 8 – 10 minutes.
Once the water has started to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for the required time. The crab’s shell should turn a bright orange when done.
When the crabs are done, immerse them for a few seconds in cold water so that cooking stops and they do not overcook.

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Picking for the crabmeat or undressing the crab .

Place the crab on its back onto a large chopping board and snap off the tail flap, legs and claws. With a fresh crab this should be very easy.

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Pull the head shell away from the body of the crab
On the body part you will see the ‘dead man’s fingers’ a dozen or so (off-white spongy gills) which must be removed and thrown away.
With a crab pick or a teaspoon handle ( a crochet needle is also a fantastic tool for this ) pick out all the white meat from all the nooks and crannies from within the crabs body trying not to break off any bone as you go , this is time consuming but you’ll be rewarded with the sweetest tasting meat

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Inside the shell remove the stomach sac, hard membranes, mouth parts and throwaway.
Using a teaspoon scoop out the brown meat, place in a small bowl and mash gently with a fork. This is fantastic in sauces and has such a rich flavour.

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My spicy crab and squid ink spaghetti

If you have the crab ready to use this only takes 15 mins start to finish!
Ingredients
Serves 4

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Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli (de seed for less heat) chopped, chilli and crab a match made in heaven!!!
700g of your undressed crab, white and brown meat kept separate
100ml white wine
zest and juice of lemon
500g squid ink spaghetti ( regular spaghetti can also be used if you can’t find the squid ink variety)
handful parsley copped
handful basil chopped
Salt and pepper to season

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Method

1.Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.
2.Pass the brown crabmeat through a sieve so it’s nice and creamy

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3.In a large pestle and mortar pulverise the peeled garlic cloves with the salt, so that it makes a smooth paste. Then add the chopped and seeded chilli and crush again.

3.Tip in the crab brown. Zest the lemon into the mortar and then add the juice. Using a fork, beat well to mix, you are ready to cook your pasta, cook according to packet instructions.

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4. 5 mins before the pasta is ready heat some oil in a pan or wok on a medium temperature, add the sauce once it starts to cook simmer add the wine and simmer for a further 2 mins (don’t let it boil)

5.Drain the pasta and tip into the wok or pan with the sauce, Immediately add white crab meat, chopped parsley, torn basil and toss to mix all together, season to taste and toss again .

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6.serve direct in hot dishes , or if you want that 70s retro look serve in the shells ( thoroughly cleaned out of course) a cold glass of Pinot Grigio will go perfect to wash everything down!😉

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For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call
: simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

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