Sunday, 9 October 2011

Crab, Corn & Chili

Dorset Spider Crab

Crab and Corn Chili Fritters

Hello Folks!

It's been an absurdly long time, where I almost got into the returning late library book syndrome. Also a lack of camera, then a new camera but couldn't transfer the images to my computer, and a whole host other excuses. So without further ado, I will share here my afternoon's endeavours with the fruits of my forraging from the farmers market.

Having just got to the end of a marathon summer of cooking and catering, I have as most people do on their first day off, gone down with a filthy cold with fever. The food we crave at such times is usually strong, umami and robust. Something to cut through the deadened senses and create some sensory stimulation. Of course chili, garlic, shellfish and onions are all good choices. The bright and cheery colour of corn is uplifting and soothing.

I took this beautiful spider crab and extracted his meat and then made a crab stock. This is where the real treasure is buried. A crab stock is a culinary gem, a crab bisque the ultimate soup in my opinion. And boy do I intend to make a crab and sweetcorn soup tomorrow from it.

In the meantime staying with the crab, chili & corn combination I made some fritters. A fast and easy meal. Once you have extracted the crab meat of course, from start to finish 15 minutes flat. To beat an egg, whisk in some flour, chop some spring onions, chili, zest a lemon and flake the crab meat in, fry the fritters and boil some beans. Now how hard can that be? This would work just as well (though I doubt as delicious) with tinned crab meat and corn.

Crab & Corn Fritters

For 4
  • The meat from one decent sized crab (approx 1 kilo - yields approx 200-250gm)
  • Corn kernels scraped from 2 cobs (boiled for about 7/8 minutes)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 100 grammes plain white flour
  • 6 Spring onions sliced finely
  • A handful of mint
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 2 jallapeno chilis
  • Sunflower oil for shallow frying
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix the egg and flour to form the basis of the batter.
  2. Add the corn kernels, mint, spring onions, chili and mix well.
  3. Fold in the crab meat and mix carefully and season.
  4. Heat oil in frying pan and when very hot, fry spoonfuls of the mixture until crispy on both sides.
  5. Drain of kitchen paper and serve with chili jam or mayonnaise and a palate cleansing salad.
Crab, Corn & Chili Soup

Now for those beautiful shells.....

After extracting the meat and saving the shells, smash them up with a rolling pin being careful not to get in the way of flying shards of shell. Then follow the usual procedure for stock making, although with fish and shellfish stocks, only a short simmer is needed.

Crab Stock
  • Crab shells
  • 1 onion cut up small
  • 1 leek cleaned and cut up small
  • 1 small carrot cut up small
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 4 or 5 tomatoes cut up
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Some parsley stalks
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Heat the oil in a stock pot and saute the onion, celery, carrot and crab shells until they begin to colour and aromas are released. About 10 minutes.
  2. Add all the other ingredients, and add water to cover.
  3. Bring to the boil and continually skim off the scum that may arise.
  4. Turn down the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Strain through a fine seive and reserve.
This stock freezes very well. Keeps in the fridge for about 3 days.

Crab Stock

Crab, Corn & Chili Soup

Method for Soup
  • 2 Shallots diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 leek cleaned and chopped finely
  • 4 cobs of corn - scrapped of kernels
  • 1 litre of crab stock (heated)
  • A good pinch of saffron infused with a little of the crab stock
  • 250ml double cream
  • Fresh chili chopped finely
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
  • Optional crab meat
  • Knob of butter and glug of olive oil
  1. Firstly heat the butter and oil and saute the shallots and leeks until soft and tender but not golden (about 3-5 minutes)
  2. Add the garlic and chili followed by the corn kernels, fry for about 3 minutes
  3. Add the hot crab stock and bring to a simmer and leave for about 20 minutes until the corn is cooked.
  4. Take off the heat and add the lemon juice and cream.
  5. Add the crab meat if using.

1 comment:

  1. oooh Sarah!Welcome back too to the blogging world! I missed you heaps!! This Dorset crab looks so beautiful red aka pink! Just beautiful crab &corn cakes too! I never tasted a Dorset crab before!! Lovely pictures too!
    Kisses from Belgium to you in England!


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